The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) has been granted official observer status of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO. The Institute was represented at the 23rd Assembly held at UNESCO in Paris 21-30 June by its Director General, Keith Read, CBE: "We hope this will be the beginning of a long relationship that will provide benefits for both the IOC and the IMarEST, with our membership contributing the professional marine users' view to the debate," he said.
The IOC was founded in 1960 on the basis of the recognition that the oceans need to be studied from many points of view and that 'many aspects of oceanic investigations present far too formidable a task to be undertaken by any one nation or even a few nations. The IOC is composed of its member states, an Assembly, an Executive Council and a Secretariat with each member state having one seat in the Assembly.
Whilst the Assembly, such as the recent 23rd, meets biennially, the Executive Council, formed of a maximum of 40 member states, meets every year to provide guidance to the Secretariat for the implementation of the activities of the Commission during the Assembly's inter-sessional period.
“The delivery of effective oceanographic observing, monitoring and forecasting systems is the theme of the Operational Oceanography stream at the major marine event, the 2006 World Maritime Technology Conference (WMTC 2006), being hosted by IMarEST next March in London," says Keith Read. "WMTC 2006 features a ten-stream technical conference, and I know that the steering group for the Operational Oceanography stream has tabled a session on 'Industry and Government Applications for Operational Oceanography'; a subject heading that is bound to see the extension of tsunami warning systems being discussed. The full WMTC 2006 programme will be available from early October, and organisations working actively in the field of data gathering about the oceans and seas of the Earth will be taking part in the associated exhibition.