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Research and systematic observation of the climate system


The Convention calls on Parties to promote, and cooperate in, research and systematic observation of the climate system, including through support to existing international programmes and networks (see Articles 4.1(g) and 5). In doing so, the Convention commits Parties to cooperate to improve the capacities of developing countries to participate in research and systematic observation.

A key dimension to the implementation of these Articles has been cooperation with the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and other agencies participating in WMO's Climate Agenda. COP 3 and COP 4 both adopted decisions supporting GCOS and its partner agencies, and urging Parties to engage fully with their work

At its fifth session, the COP invited the GCOS secretariat, in consultation with the GEF and others, to organize regional workshops to identify priority capacity-building needs to enhance the participation of developing countries in systematic observation. The COP also urged Parties to address deficiencies in climate observing networks, and to put forward specific proposals to this end. In addition, the COP adopted reporting guidelines on global climate observing systems, and invited Parties to provide detailed reports on systematic observation as part of their national communications (on a voluntary basis, in the case of non-Annex I Parties). In this respect, the COP invited the secretariat, in conjunction with the GCOS Secretariat, to develop a process for synthesizing and analysing the reports submitted by Parties.

Latest developments
The GCOS Secretariat presented a report to SBSTA 12 on progress in responding to decision 5/CP.5, including on the organization of regional workshops in the South Pacific and Africa.
Next steps

The GCOS secretariat will provide a further report on its activities to part II of SBSTA 13 in The Hague in November.

SBSTA 14 (May/June 2001) will discuss a process to review and synthesise reports from Parties on global climate observing systems, as requested by decision 5/CP.5.

Documents prepared for the upcoming session
None. The report of the GCOS Secretariat will be issued for SBSTA 13, Part II.
Relevant COP decisions and key SBSTA conclusions
Decision 5/CP.5 Research and systematic observation
Decision 14/CP.4 Research and systematic observation
Decision 8/CP.3 Development of observational networks of the climate system
SBSTA 12 report para. 59(c)-(f)
Key documents prepared for earlier sessions
FCCC/SBSTA/1999/10 Issues relating to the Global Climate Observing System
This agenda item is supported by the Methodology and Science Sub-Programme


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