United Nations
Bureau of Meteorology hosting of UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) decentralised offices for ocean science and tsunami warning
by Bureau of Meteorology (Government)
The Australian Government (through the Bureau of Meteorology), the Western Australian Government and UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) have jointly funded an IOC presence in Perth, Australia since 1998. The Perth Program Office (PPO) and the co-located Secretariat for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning & Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWMS) are a regional node of the IOC and promote international cooperation, coordinate and facilitate the development and implementation of oceanographic science programs and support capacity building initiatives across the full spectrum of the IOCs programs in the southern hemisphere.

The PPO has a particular focus on supporting ocean observations and services through the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and ocean science as a Join Project Office (JPO) overseeing the Second International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE-2). The IOTWMS Secretariats role is to support the governance and coordination of all Member States of the IOTWMS and the three Regional Tsunami Service Providers (Australia, Indonesia and India) as well as other international stakeholders so that the end-to-end tsunami warning system in the Indian Ocean remains operational. A particular focus of the IOTWMS since 2014 has been on community awareness and responsive mechanisms and the IOTWMS Secretariat undertakes a number of capacity development projects to ensure that the responsible tsunami warning centres and the broader contact network around the Indian Ocean work well in responding to tsunamis to minimise loss of life. The IOTWMS is recognised as the most technologically advanced of the global tsunami operational systems and is highly valued by the 28 countries for which it provides early warning of potentially dangerous tsunami.
Progress reports
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want
Type of commitment
October 2020
Hosting of 2 UNESCO IOC decentralised offices related to ocean science and tsunami warning. The hosting arrangements are negotiated amongst all parties on varying timescales of between 2-5 years. The delivery date listed is based upon current arrangements.
Financing (in USD)
10,500,000 USD
Financing (in USD)
4,500,000 USD
Staff / Technical expertise
Scientific research
Basic information
Time-frame: 1998 January - 2020 October
State of Western Australian (Government), UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (United Nations entity).
Ocean Basins
  • Indian Ocean
  • South Pacific
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Ray Canterford, Senior Executive Policy Advisor, Hazards Warnings & Forecasts Division, Bureau of Meteorology, Ray.Canterford@bom.gov.au, +61 3 9669 8103
Other SDGs
United Nations