The combined SEPRISE kick-off and GMES Workshop on Services for Marine Operational Forecasting was held in November 2004 generated a list of currently and soon to be available information products and those which are required and thought to be feasible in the longer term. The Workshop also agreed the essential components of ‘best practice’ in marine service provision and a number of relevant recommendations. At an early stage and subsequently, the SEPRISE Workshops have approved the strategy of building a sustainable, integrated operational system based on the GMES Marine Core Service (MCS), with integrated, coordinated upstream in situ and EO data provision and downstream services dedicated to meeting individual needs for services.
The political momentum of GMES, the selection of the marine domain as one of the GMES Fast Tracks, the strong support of ESA and their Member States for the transition to operational missions, the conviction of the oceanographic community that the architecture of an MCS is correct, based as it is on the highly successful architecture for operational meteorology, and the strong European focus on environmental protection and climate change, helped to sustain this decision. Additionally, the GMES initiative came at a time when oceanographic science had received substantial support from Member States and the Commission, through the Framework Programmes 5 and 6 and in the wider international community through programmes such as WOCE and GODAE.
The EuroGOOS Chair, and author of this plan, was appointed as chairman of the Marine Core Service Implementation Group (MCS_IG) following acceptance of the Service as one of the three GMES ‘Fast Tracks’, based on the successful KO meeting during 27/28 October 2005. Most of 2006 was taken up by preparation of a draft Strategic Implementation Plan and consultation on its findings and recommendations. The MCS Strategic Implementation Plan forms the basis of this plan. The strategy is elaborated in section 4 of this report.
To ensure that the MCS is user driven, the IG is composed of representatives of the EEA, OSPAR, EMSA, the Maritime Policy Task Force, the ESF, EUMETNET and EuroGOOS (through the chair). HELCOM and UNEP/MAP receive working papers and reports and are able to comment as appropriate. ESA and EUMETSAT are observers and have attended most of the meetings. The IG has formed working groups composed of members of the IG and participants in the MERSEA IP to carry out particular studies to guide its work. The IG met in plenary on 5th May, 26th June, 9th October and 23rd November 2006 to agree the issues to be addressed, allocation of responsibilities for the preparation of working papers, the line to take on the identified issues and to review draft documents.
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