The GOOS program is a permanent global system for observations, modelling and analysis of marine and ocean variables to support operational ocean services worldwide. It is designed to:

  • Monitor, understand and predict weather and climate;
  • Describe and forecast the state of the ocean, including living resources;
  • Improve management of marine and coastal ecosystems and resources;
  • Mitigate damage from natural hazards and pollution;
  • Protect life and property on coasts and at sea; and
  • Enable scientific research.

It is the oceanographic component of the Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS) and encompasses a number of observational platforms (i.e. Argo floats, drifting buoys, XBT surveys, permanent moorings). It is implemented by IOC Member States via their government agencies, navies and oceanographic research institutions in accordance with the Framework for Ocean Observing – a systems approach designed to be flexible and adapt to evolving scientific, technological and societal needs.

The IOC sponsors the GOOS programme with other global partners including UNEP, WMO and ISC. It is a platform for international cooperation for sustained observations of the ocean; the generation of oceanographic products and services; and interaction between research, operational and user communities.

For more information on GOOS, please visit the IOC GOOS webpage.

GOOS Regional Alliances

One of the key implementing frameworks for GOOS is that of the GOOS Regional Alliances (GRAs). Generally they are voluntary associations of IOC Member States that have agreed to collaborate regionally to assist in the implementation of GOOS. Currently 13 GRAs exist and collectively they cover the Australasian region, East Asia, the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic basins, the Caribbean, Europe and North and South America.

There is considerable diversity in the focus and governance structures of the GRAs, but they collaborate through biannual meetings of the GOOS Regional Council and inter-sessionally through teleconferences to share knowledge and experience in GOOS. 

For more information on the GRAs, please visit the IOC GOOS webpage.


The IOC PPO has a mandate as a regional office of the IOC to support GOOS, and in particular it provides strategic coordination and facilitation of oceanographic and climate research in the Indian Ocean (IO) and South-west Pacific Ocean around the Pacific Islands. It has a recognised role in facilitating the development of GOOS and in promoting the use of the system.

In this context, the IOC PPO plays a leading role in the facilitation, coordination and sponsorship of the following two GRAs:

  • The Indian Ocean Global Ocean Observing System Regional Alliance (IOGOOS). To learn more about IOGOOS click here.
  • The Pacific Islands Global Ocean Observing System Regional Alliance (PI-GOOS). To learn more about PI-GOOS click here.

In addition to the above supported GRAs, the IOC PPO engages collaboratively with a number of other GRAs within our region, in particular:

  • IMOS – Australia’s national system for observing at ocean-basin and regional scales a range of physical, chemical and biological variables. All IMOS collected data is discoverable through the Australian Ocean Data Network (AODN) to the marine and climate science community, other stakeholders and users and international collaborators. IMOS became a recognised GRA in June 2014 and the IOC PPO regularly collaborates with IMOS to provide linkage between Australia’s national observational activities and those occurring in neighbouring GRAs. Dr Nick D’Adamo of the IOC PPO has previously been a board member of IMOS and continues to stay closely connected with IMOS strategic and operational activities.
  • SEAGOOS  The Southeast Asian Global Ocean Observing System (SEAGOOS) aims to encourage cooperation among member countries interested in ocean observation and monitoring, modelling and exchange and application of data in the wider South East Asian region. The IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC) helps to coordinate SEAGOOS activities and the IOC PPO collaborates closely with WESTPAC in terms of the mutual interests of SEAGOOS, IOGOOS and PI-GOOS members and areas for cooperation.
  • The IOC PPO has also assisted in the establishment of WAGOOS Inc., a GOOS aligned private organisation (although not a formal GRA) established in 1999 to provide focus on the waters off western and northern Australia to support GOOS in general, and for the development of useful fine-scale oceanographic products and applications for those requiring it in the region. Its stakeholders include industry, universities and government agencies. WAGOOS is currently chaired by Ray Steedman and the IOC PPO is the Secretariat.  

GOOS Regional Alliances around the globe: