Committee of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, of which Ghana is a member, was created in 1960 to promote international cooperation and coordinate programmes in research, sustainable development, protection of the marine environment, capacity-building for improved management and decision-making. It assists developing countries in strengthening their institutions to obtain self-driven sustainability in marine sciences.

On a regional level, it is coordinating the development of tsunami early warning and mitigation systems in the Pacific, the Indian Ocean, the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and the Caribbean. It also facilitates interagency coordination through the UN-Oceans mechanism and works with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in establishing a process for global reporting and assessment of the state of the marine environment. Through the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) – the ocean component of the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) – the IOC helps improve operational oceanography, weather and climate forecasts and monitoring and support the sustained observing needs of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Currently, the operations of the IOC has changed. IOC is now a body with functional autonomy within UNESCO and carries out a specific mandate on ocean sciences approved by the Executive Board of UNESCO.

In rolling-out programmes of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, the Ghana Natcom has a Specialized Committee which provides expert advice relating to oceanography. The Committee is being hosted by the Water Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and draws its membership from stakeholder institutions.

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