Eighth Session of the GOOS Regional Alliance Forum 

The Eighth Session of the GOOS Regional Alliance Forum (GRF-VIII) was held at the National University of Singapore, Singapore, 5-7 September 2017.

Tim Moltmann (IMOS) chaired the Forum which was attended by representatives of ten of the thirteen GRAs.

Also in attendance was the IOC Executive Secretary Mr. Vladimir Ryabinin, as well as officers from IOC-WESTPAC and IOC Perth. There were representatives of the GOOS Steering Committee, GOOS Project Office, GOOS Panels for Physics, Biogeochemistry and for Biology and Ecosystems, JCOMM Observations Coordination Group (OCG), Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA_ON), Global High Frequency Radar Network, Global Ocean Glider Network; as well as invited experts from GEO Blue Planet, South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON), Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), and Indonesian Government (IAMCG and BMKG).

The Forum provided an opportunity to discuss the highlights, progress and challenges over the last two years. The Forum discussed agreed GRA priorities including actions from GRA VII (including asset mapping and modeling inventories), cross-GRA pilot projects, and new observing networks (ocean gliders, high-frequency radar).

The Forum also explored the potential for new partnerships between GRAs and other programs relevant to GOOS, with an emphasis on capacity development in: 1) Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON); 2) Regional ocean observing initiatives; 3) Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs); 4) Modelling and Forecasting.

The GOOS Regional Council agreed on eighteen actions. Moreover, there is a need to explore stronger engagement of national programs (such as those emerging in Canada and South Africa) in the GOOS regional observing enterprise, as well as stronger interlinkages between GRAs. It was agreed that IMOS (Tim Moltmann) would pass the Chair of the GRA Regional Council to EuroGOOS (Glenn Nolan) at the end of 2017, with IO GOOS (Dr Satheesh Shenoi) taking up the role of Vice Chair.

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