Ad hoc Task Team on JCOMM Coordination for Marine Environmental Emergency Responses

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At the 4th session of the Joint WMO-IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM-4, May 2012), Members / Member States agreed that JCOMM should take a proactive role in supporting Members / Member States to respond to marine environmental emergencies. This should include supporting responsible centres to extend their technical capabilities, exchange diagnostic and forecast data, as well as provide enhanced coordination for services and information provision in a way that meets requirements as defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and International Maritime Organization (IMO).

A system that tracks oceanic radioactive plumes using dispersion modelling should leverage the existing framework for tracking atmospheric radioactive hazards in operational NWP centres, operated in conjunction with atmospheric dispersion modelling infrastructures and expertise.

To pursue this objective during the intersessional period (2012 – 2017), the ad hoc Task Team will undertake the following work, and will report directly to the Services and Forecasting Systems Coordination Group (SCG). The Task Team will be active during the defined period to accomplish the tasked described below, mainly through the online correspondence, and in general with no resource implications to JCOMM:

  1. Review available technologies for modelling, forecasting, and operational support of radioactive material discharge in marine environments, in view of exploring feasibility of providing enhanced coordination in basin scale; by mid 2014;

  2. Assist the SCG to liaise with international organizations, including IMO, IAEA and others, on the requirements for the delivery of information in support of radioactive material discharge; continuous until end 2014;

  3. Submit the SCG a draft proposal for an international framework for responses to marine radioactive material discharge, as well as a JCOMM work plan that describes; 1) requirements and gaps; 2) primary users of such a service; 3) key players and responsible parties in JCOMM coordination/contribution; and, 4) process and timeline to implement the proposed practice; by mid 2014;

  4. Review the current framework for Marine Pollution Emergency Response Support System for the high seas (MPERSS), particularly the role of the Area Meteorological and Oceanographic Coordinators (AMOCs) and their applicability, in the context of support to any response to radioactive material discharge; marine pollution monitoring and response or marine SAR; by end 2014;

  5. Submit the SCG a proposal to streamline the global coordination of marine environmental emergency responses, to ensure that existing capabilities within MPERSS (including Search and Rescue) are not compromised by any reapportionment of resources; by end 2014.


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