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Pacific Islands-Global Climate Observing System (PI-GCOS)

Area covered by PI-GCOS

The Pacific Islands-Global Climate Observing System (PI-GCOS) programme started in Apia, Samoa, in 2000 as a result of the first regional Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) workshop organised by the 
Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the international GCOS Secretariat. It is a sub-programme of the GCOS aimed specifically at meeting the observing needs of Pacific Islands. Since the Apia workshop, a number of activities have been completed. These include establishment of the PI-GCOS steering group, development of the PI-GCOS Action Plan and appointment of a full-time PI-GCOS coordinator based in SPREP. At the international level, eight GCOS workshops have been held in other regions of the world, and according to observers, the Apia workshop is considered the most successful. This success is mainly attributed to the dedicated efforts of all stakeholders involved in the PI-GCOS programme to date.

Recent activities include the establishment of a Regional Committee (RC) which serves as the PI-GCOS steering group. Mr. Arona Ngari, the Director of the Cook Islands National Meteorological and 
Hydrological Service (NMHS) was selected as the interim chair. The role of the RC is to guide the implementation of the PI-GCOS Action Plan and act as an advisory group to the PI-GCOS Coordinator.

One of the issues that was identified early during the consultation among PI-GCOS collaborating partners, is the need to build capacity of individual Pacific Islands NMHS if the goals of the PI-GCOS Action Plan are to be met. The first step in this direction was the establishment of the RC with the majority of its members being representatives of Pacific Islands NMHS. This is a reflection of the realization that the PI-GCOS can be successful only if it is owned and primarily driven by the Pacific people themselves, as they will ultimately benefit from the programme.

The PI-GCOS programme was showcased at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP10) held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 6-17 December 2004 with great success. The PI-GCOS programme success was touted as a good model for 
other regions, particularly in relation to the cooperative partnership between developing and developed countries of the region, along with the key central roles that organizations such as SPREP and South Pacific Applied Geosciences Commission (SOPAC) have played to further the goals of PI-GCOS.

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