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17th World Meteorological Congress

25 May - 12 June 2015, Geneva, Switzerland

The 17th World Meteorological Congress was held in Geneva, Switzerland, May 25 - June 12, 2015. Polar and High Mountain Regions are recognized as one of the seven key priorities of WMO and the WMO Executive Council Panel of Experts on Polar Observations, Research and Services (EC-PORS) provides oversight to WMO’s activities and building relationships with partners.

A special panel discussion on WMO"s polar activities was held as a side event on May 28. The roundtable discussion provided an overview of WMO’s activities and sought from participants their views on the Panel’s future work. The panel discussion included the activities of the Global Cryosphere Watch (GCW), the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP), and other activities of EC-PORS. It was very well attended, with over 70 participants from around the world, including the directors of some meteorological service agencies.


The 17th World Meteorological Congress (Cg‑17) agreed that Polar and High Mountain Regions become one of the seven WMO Priorities for 2016-2019, especially to “Improve operational meteorological and hydrological monitoring, prediction and services in polar, high mountain regions and beyond by: (a) operationalizing the Global Cryosphere Watch (GCW); (b) better understanding the implications of changes in these regions on the global weather and climate patterns; and (c) advancing the polar prediction under the Global Integrated Polar Prediction System (GIPPS)”.

In Resolution 4.2.6(2)/1 (Cg-17) on GCW, Congress decided to mainstream and implement GCW in WMO Programmes as a cross cutting activity and requested that the Secretary-General ensure, to the extent possible within available resources, management of, and provide support to, the implementation of GCW and to establish a GCW Project Office. Congress agreed that the GCW Implementation Plan should be the guiding document for the implementation of the GCW. Congress also agreed that an immediate priority for GCW is to establish CryoNet, which is one of the four WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS) component observing systems and agreed on 36 CryoNet sites that will be used for the pre-operational testing phase.