Background to the Perth Office
The IOC-UNESCO Perth Regional Programme Office was formally established in 1998.
It was formed jointly by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO IOC), the Western Australian Government and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, under a tri-partite sponsorship agreement.
The Office is designed to service the balanced objectives of its 3 Parties as a regional node of UNESCO IOC and is one of only a few IOC regional focal points around world.
It is co-located with the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Coordinating Group (ICG) for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWS), which the Perth Office helped establish soon after the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.
The Office works closely with Western Australian, Australian and regional marine and climatic science and management stakeholders. It also collaborates with personnel of the IOC Secretariat based in the IOC’s Paris Headquarters and with senior professional and technical personnel stationed in related regional/global IOC and UNESCO programs and relevant offices, such as IOC Sub-Commissions and Technical Commissions (eg WESTPAC), IOC Regional Committees, IOC Project and Regional Programme Offices, IOC Information Centres and UNESCO Bureaus and Offices.
In doing this, the IOC-Perth Office:
The seas surrounding Australia (Indian Ocean, South East Asia, Pacific Ocean and Southern Ocean) are inter-connected physically and biologically by currents through a cascade of local, regional and oceanic scales. The meteorology above these seas also exhibits an inter-connected nature and many climatic systems transmit across and between these oceanic basins and over adjacent land masses. Many atmospheric systems drive oceanographic processes that then also transmit across and between oceanic basins, and many oceanographic properties influence the atmospheric formation of weather systems above particular oceanic regions. There is strong coupling between the oceans and atmosphere, with oceanic phenomena being critical factors in local, regional and global climate systems and essential to understand in respect to climate variability and change.
Under this broad scientific motivation, the IOC coordinates and facilitates the development and implementation of international oceanographic science programs across a wide spectrum of broad program areas (above). One of the IOC’s major fundamental and applied scientific programs of particular relevance to the oceanic regions in and around Australia is the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS).
The Perth Office was established as a focal point to address the relatively poor representation and presence of IOC programs that existed in this southern hemisphere region in the 1990s. Significant progress has been made since then with benefits for IOC Member States in the region, but much work remains to be done through the ongoing regional facilitation and coordination of existing and new programs and initiatives under the Perth Office and under the program frameworks of associated IOC alliances within the Office’s purview.
Officer in Charge - UNESCO IOC Perth Regional Programme Office:
Ph (direct) +61-8-9226 2899 Fax +61-8-92260599