Global Terrestrial Observing System GTOS

In 1993, five international organizations - FAO, ICSU, UNEP, UNESCO and WMO - agreed to co-sponsor the planning process for a Global Terrestrial Observing System ( GTOS ). An Ad hoc Scientific and Technical Planning Group was established in 1993, and a Scientific Secretariat for this Planning Group was set up at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), Birmensdorf, Switzerland in June 1994. Although the Secretariat to the Planing Group has now completed its work, the sites database continues to be maintained at WSL.

The Terrestrial Ecosystem Monitoring Sites (TEMS) Database was originally developed by the Global Environment Monitoring System Programme Activity Centre (GEMS/PAC) of UNEP in Nairobi, Kenya. TEMS is an international directory of meta-data about monitoring stations and their activities; it is not a compilation of raw data. The objective of the database is to document existing long-term monitoring sites which may be suitable for inclusion in the GTOS network once this is established. The work started by UNEP on the TEMS database is now being continued at WSL in full collaboration with UNEP. In addition to its function for GTOS the database is being utilized and futher developed in close cooperation with the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS).

Last Update: 30.06.1998/nk/jw

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