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First meeting of the working group on Tsunamis and other hazazrds related to sea-level warning and mitigation systems (TOWS-WG), UNESCO headquarters, Paris, France, 3-4 April 2008
IOC (2008). First meeting of the working group on Tsunamis and other hazazrds related to sea-level warning and mitigation systems (TOWS-WG), UNESCO headquarters, Paris, France, 3-4 April 2008. IOC Reports of Meetings of Experts and Equivalent Bodies, IOC/TOWS-WG-I/3. UNESCO: Paris. 16, V annexes pp.
Part of: IOC Reports of Meetings of Experts and Equivalent Bodies. UNESCO: Paris, more

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Document type: Meeting report

    Hazards; Sea level; Tsunamis; Marine

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    The TOWS-WG reviewed previous work by the GOWHMS. The Framework document was considered and a final version agreed.The TOWS-WG considered the status of the tsunami warning Systems and of other subsidiary bodies insofar as it impacted the mandate of the TOWS-WG. Capacity building and information exchange and outreach were given particular attention.The TOWS-WG believes a global “core” network of sea level tide gauges should be defined by JCOMM/GLOSS for tsunami and ocean hazards, building on the GLOSS core for climate wherever possible. TOWS-WG further believes the tsunameter Partnership should transition to an Action Group under the JCOMM/DBCP, to exploit synergies and to encourage a global role.The TOWS-WG believes IOC should adopt standards and endorse practices for the tsunami Systems as a whole and, to this end, will undertake a study of guidelines for regional and national tsunami watch standards. It also supported the publication of standardized procedures to evaluate actions taken by regional and national Tsunami Warning Centres during tsunamigenic events.The TOWS-WG noted some issues with exchange of seismic data, including interoperability. Real time data sharing and optimising the timely use of existing solutions were two factors. The TOWS-WG proposed creating a small task team to examine the issues and report back to the next meeting.The WG were apprised of a number of remaining telecommunication issues. The TOWS-WG agreed to undertake an analysis of need, including how to access GTS information and the issue of access beyond the NMHSs.The TOWS-WG noted that IOC capability for coastal hazards resides in a number of primary and secondary subsidiary bodies. It also noted the emergence of the ICSU Scientific Planning Group in disasters caused by natural hazards and agreed that, in concert with the Ocean Sciences Program, it should test the potential benefits of working with ICSU in this area. The TOWS-WG further noted the need for enhanced attention to ecosystem observations to support coastal hazard studies and vulnerability and post-hazardassessment programs.The TOWS-WG noted the many references to the need for high-resolution bathymetric data and digital elevation models, including in the GOWHMS Framework document. The TOWS-WG suggests the Executive Council give urgent attention to this matter.The TOWS-WG noted that Capacity Building requirements often transcended the boundaries of the ICG, and sometimes of IOC itself. Dialogue and coordination with potential donors/funders should be at a high level, to ensure consistency in messages and actions and optimize the response. The WG may be able to play a role. In a similar vein, the TOWS-WG believes information exchange and outreach should be coordinated a high-level,notwithstanding the fact that some actions may be region specific. In general, the TOWS-WG believes it may be timely to consolidate and transition (or share) work with other bodies of IOC in a number of areas (science, observation, services).The TOWS-WG made a number of observations on the governance and mode of operation of the ICGs, noting some potential inefficiency. There should be a number of standing items in each ICG agenda. The TOWS-WG noted that the interaction between the ICGs and the Governing Body was at times both ineffective and inefficient. The TOWS-WG asks the Executive Council to consider tasking the WG with review of the input from the ICGs with a view to streamlining and rationalising the input so that only those matters requiringdecision were tabled, and in such a way as to harmonise the work of the Commission and introduce consistency.The TOWS-WG agreed to review the organisation and coordination among working groups of the ICGs.High-level coordination of funding was considered, including support for the Secretariat. Tight and effective strategic planning, efficient coordination, and clear priorities were highlighted. The WG also recognized distinct advantages in acting “as one” within the IOC, e.g. in working with ISDR and its partners.

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