Panel on Polar and High Mountain observations, research, and services (EC-PHORS)

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Terms of Reference

General Mandate
(1) Operate under the general terms of reference of regional associations regarding the WMO activities in Antarctica, as in Annex II of Basic Documents No. 1 (WMO-No. 15);
(2) Foster the engagement of WMO with the Arctic Council and its Working Groups, and with the Antarctic Treaty and its Committee for Environmental Protection and liaise between these and the WMO bodies with respect to polar observing systems and services;
(3) Engage WMO bodies, and in particular INFCOM, SERCOM and the Research Board, to achieve the integration in their respective work programmes of research, technical and operational priorities and activities specific to polar and high-mountain regions, as identified in Resolution 48 (Cg-18);
(5) Promote and monitor Member relevant developments from international bodies with established activities in polar and high mountain regions, e.g. on improving observations, data exchange and predictive capability in these regions, and facilitate engagements with WMO bodies in support of the delivery of the WMO Strategic Plan objectives in polar and high mountain regions;
(6) Facilitate the engagements of early career scientists in the delivery of WMO results for polar and high mountain regions, including in collaboration with the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS).
2. Specific Terms of Reference
(1) In collaboration with the representatives of INFCOM, SERCOM and the Research Board, develop a set of guiding principles for the high-level strategic, advocacy, partnership, and governance of activities for polar and high-mountain regions, including a coordinating role through the Executive Council;
(2) In collaboration with SERCOM, support the integration of polar and high-mountain service-related components of EC-PHORS, particularly of Polar Regional Climate Centre networks (PRCC) and of the associated polar Regional Climate Outlook Forums (RCOFs), including regarding the sharing of responsibilities between SERCOM and INFCOM;
(3) Provide support to the Arctic Regional Climate Centre network (ArcRCC-Network) on its efforts to obtain WMO designation and to conduct a “lessons-learned” study on its development and implementation and the engagement of relevant sectors and stakeholders across multiple regional associations, as a component of the transition to relevant WMO bodies;
(4) Explore a Member-driven WMO coordination mechanism for Antarctica, offering communication and coordination benefits similar to regional associations, based on the concept jointly developed with the Study Group on Cryosphere Crosscutting Functions (SG-Cryo) of INFCOM, with considerations to its structure and its alignment in the WMO structure;
(5) Foster the engagement between the Research Board, INFCOM and SERCOM for developing together a roadmap for science-to-services from the Polar Prediction Project of WWRP, leading to the integration of its outcomes via GDPFS and on identifying new research priorities, including by contributing to the vision to be developed by the Science Advisory Panel;
(6) Foster the development of a roadmap for the integration by WMO bodies of recommendations addressing the WMO relevant actions of the Call for Action of the WMO High Mountain Summit, as prepared by SG-Cryo of INFCOM;
(7) Take stock of gaps and specific needs of Members in polar and high mountain regions and of mechanisms to address them, accounting for regional differences, e.g. Arctic vs Antarctic vs high-mountain regions;
(8) Prepare for submission to the Executive Council recommendations on an effective role to oversee, coordinate and monitor how polar and high-mountain observations, research, services and policies are developed and implemented within and externally to WMO, to ensure that WMO continues to play a meaningful role on these matters;
(9) Prepare for submission to the Policy Advisory Committee recommendations informing the WMO strategic objectives for 2024-2028 on specific priorities for polar and high mountain regions developed with input from other WMO bodies and reflecting the necessary strategic engagements.

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