Final Terms of Reference | POGO

Final Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference

Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO)


A group of marine research institutions met in Paris in March 1999 to discuss ways in which they could work together more effectively in support of global oceanography. The result was a proposal to establish the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO), whose terms of reference are provided below.


The objective of POGO is to make a major contribution to the attainment of sustained in situ observations of the global ocean that meet the requirements of international research and operational programs.

As a means of attaining this objective POGO will:

  • Initiate key actions to enable effective coordination, integration, and implementation of international ocean observing strategies in close collaboration with the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS);
  • Establish collective agreements among institutions to promote timely developments in ocean science;
  • Develop and promote coordinated views of ocean institutions concerning ocean observation and science to governments, international bodies, and others;
  • Facilitate linkages between oceanographic research and operational institutions in relation to their goals, plans, and programs;
  • Exchange policy and technical information;
  • Coordinate the education and outreach programs of its Members;
  • Encourage responsiveness to user communities;
  • Promote capacity building;
  • Promote sharing of facilities and infrastructure;
  • Encourage interdisciplinary use of observing infrastructure.

The Partnership will actively work to inform and communicate with the broader community interested in global oceanographic observations and research.

Individual Members of POGO will use their best efforts to implement POGO recommendations in their respective programs.


Members: Members shall be institutions or consortia which have demonstrated capability to undertake global or basin-scale in situ oceanographic observations and research or are capable and willing to make substantial contributions in other forms to the POGO objectives.

Where multiple institutions in the same country are eligible for membership, they are encouraged to coordinate so that there are not more than three Members per country. The addition of new Members will be with the consensus of current Members.

Members should seek to share with other POGO organizations the data and research results from their organizations, consistent with applicable policies and procedures, and to work toward the broadest possible dissemination of such data and research results.

Affiliates: Affiliated organizations may be national, international or nongovernmental organizations concerned with ocean science or operational oceanography, with which it is mutually beneficial that the Partnership maintains collaborative relationships. Organizations must be invited by the Partnership to become affiliates and such affiliation will be with the consensus of the Membership.

Affiliates may participate fully in POGO meeting and other activities; however approval by Affiliates will not be required to establish consensus.

Organization and Procedures

Plenary Meetings: POGO will convene at least once every year in plenary session. Each Member and Affiliate will designate a point-of-contact for coordination between meetings. Attendance at plenary meetings of the Partnership shall be open to all Members and Affiliated Organizations. Representatives should be at the level of directors of institutions or equivalent position with authority to commit the resources of the institution.

At each meeting of POGO, the time, place, and host for at least the next two meetings will be established.

Chairman, Executive Committee, and Secretariat: The chairmen of the past, upcoming, and subsequent POGO meetings will form the Executive Committee, providing guidance to the organization between meetings. The Directors of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Southampton Oceanography Centre shall serve as the interim POGO Executive Committee. As POGO advances, the interim members will be replaced on the Executive Committee by the designated incoming chairmen.

The Executive Director of the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) is responsible for the day-to-day management and operation of the organization, under the direction of the POGO Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall appoint the Executive Director.

Each POGO member may designate a representative to serve on the POGO secretariat; to be involved in overseeing the activities of the organization; and to guide the work of the Executive Director of POGO between plenary meetings. The secretariat group will consult as needed, via teleconferences, email, and other means.

Funding: Initial funding for the Executive Director position will be sought from external sources. After a start-up period, expected to be approximately three years, the Members shall bear the costs of maintaining the secretariat of the Partnership (estimated at $150,000 per year total) on an equitable basis, taking into account the GNP of the home country and the budget of the institution or institutions represented.

The Executive Director will prepare and present a budget and cost-sharing plan for approval by Members. Members and Affiliates will bear their own costs for attending meetings and participating in activities of POGO. Members are invited to share the costs of other Partnership activities through voluntary contributions, which may be financial or in-kind (such as hosting meetings, organizing workshops, conducting pilot projects, financing publications, employing consultants, providing for their own costs of communications, and other such activities.) POGO members are also encouraged to pursue opportunities for securing funds from private sources on behalf of POGO, in consultation with the full POGO membership.

Working Groups: POGO may establish, as mutually agreed, working groups on a continuing basis or on an ad hoc basis, as appropriate, to investigate specific areas of interest, cooperation, and coordination and to report at subsequent plenary meetings. Representatives of each Member and Affiliate are invited to participate in any working groups. The continuation of working groups will be reviewed and approved at the annual plenary meetings. Wherever possible POGO will work through existing international mechanisms and will establish its own working groups only where either a) the topic is entirely contained within the POGO objectives and activities or b) no adequate forum presently exists.

A list of Members and Affiliates will be maintained and included as an Appendix to these Terms of Reference.

Adoption and Amendment

These Terms of Reference were drafted at the exploratory meeting of POGO in Paris in March 1999. They were reviewed and modified at the first meeting of POGO in

December 1999 in La Jolla, California and adopted by correspondence in January 2000.

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Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean is a charitable incorporated organisation registered and regulated by the Charity Commission of England and Wales, No 1171692