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:

It is the oceanographic component of GEOSS, the Global Earth Observing System of Systems 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 ICSU. 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 the 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:

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

GOOS Regional Alliances around the globe: