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.