World Meteorological Organization (WMO)


The WMO is the United Nations’ (UN) specialised agency for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences. It has 193 Member States and Territories (as of July 2020).


The WMO is dedicated to international cooperation and coordination on the state and behaviour of the Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with land and oceans, the weather and climate it produces, and the resulting distribution of water resources.

Last Updated

13 October 2022

Published on

22 April 2020

EUMETSAT contributes to and fulfils several of the WMO’s objectives and activities. Cooperation with the WMO dates back to the origins of EUMETSAT, with the EUMETSAT Convention explicitly mentioning the WMO.

In pursuit of its primary objective of establishing, maintaining and operationally exploiting European systems to monitor weather and climate from space, EUMETSAT takes into account, as far as possible, the recommendations made by the WMO.


EUMETSAT’s activities contribute to a number of WMO programmes, its regional associations (Europe and Africa in particular), its technical commissions and its climate activities, as well as some of the WMO programmes related to oceanography.

EUMETSAT holds observer status at WMO Executive Council and Congress meetings, and participates in WMO expert and task teams.

The WMO Space Programme coordinates the activities of its Members, related to the space-based observing system component of the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS). This is to ensure sustained and interoperable satellite observations and to promote their usage/utilisation across all WMO programmes, particularly in the weather, climate, and water domains. The overall goal is to achieve maximum benefit from Earth observation satellites for WMO applications.
The Programme’s main objectives are:

  • to develop the integrated space-based observing system component of the WMO WIGOS, involving operational (EUMETSAT) and research and development environmental satellites;
  • to enhance accessibility of current and next-generation satellite data and products, and respond to user needs;
  • to promote data exchange through common standards and the WMO Information System (WIS);
  • to stimulate coordinated data processing with traceable quality;
  • to raise awareness of satellite capabilities and promote education with a focus on developing countries, so that Members may benefit from these and other technological innovations; and
  • to coordinate the establishment and further development of space weather monitoring by improving warnings and preparedness for space weather hazards.

The WMO Congress endorsed the WIGOS Vision 2040 in 2019. The Vision 2040 addresses the observing needs of the weather, climate, water and environmental services of WMO’s Members, with the overall purpose to provide a solid and well-documented observational basis for all services in the areas of weather, climate and water. The main purpose is:

  • to serve as a reference for WMO Members and other observing system operators, providing context and expected boundary conditions relevant for observing system developments;
  • to inform on the long-term planning of satellite agencies about the expected evolution of WMO user requirements; and
  • to inform on the planning efforts of data users (NHMSs, NWP centres etc.) regarding system developments and required computing and communication capabilities.

EUMETSAT’s involvement in the WMO Space Programme initiatives includes:

  • EUMETSAT satellites are a component of the WIGOS space segment. EUMETSAT is also involved in any corresponding training and data provision activities to facilitate the access to and use of EUMETSAT’s satellite data;
  • EUMETSAT takes into account WMO requirements reflecting the needs of several of the WMO Regional Associations;
  • EUMETSAT participates in several expert and task teams within the WMO; and
  • Coordination takes place in multilateral frameworks such as the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS) and the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS).

EUMETSAT supports the WMO with the development and implementation of the GFCS. The GFCS provides a worldwide mechanism for coordinated actions to enhance the quality, quantity and application of climate services.

The main objective of the GFCS is to “enable better management of the risks of climate variability and change and adaptation to climate change, through the development and incorporation of science-based climate information and prediction into planning, policy and practice on the global, regional and national scale”.

The GCOS facilitates the need for Systematic Observations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

GCOS is significantly contributing to the observations and monitoring pillar of the GFCS by specifying the needs and requirements for GFCS observations. In support of GCOS, EUMETSAT holds a membership in the GCOS Atmospheric Observation Panel and is chairing it until spring 2020.

In support of both the GFCS and GCOS, EUMETSAT participates in the Joint CEOS/CGMS Working Group on Climate. This group’s main tasks are:

  1. Provision of a structured, comprehensive and accessible view as to what Climate Data Records (CDR) are currently available from the satellite missions of CEOS and CGMS Members;
  2. Creation of the conditions for delivering further CDR, including multi-mission CDR, through best use of available data to fulfil GCOS requirements;
  3. Optimisation of the planning of future satellite missions and constellations to expand existing and planned CDR.

Considering the specific importance of greenhouse gas monitoring as stated in the Conference of the Parties (COP) 21 Paris Agreement, the Joint CEOS/CGMS WGClimate is also coordinating the activities of CEOS and CGMS, defining and implementing an integrated global carbon observing system.

EUMETSAT has chaired this working group since November 2017 with the support of the CEOS and CGMS agencies.

Please visit this page for more information on EUMETSAT climate monitoring activities.

EUMETSAT also supports capacity-building initiatives in developing countries in order to ensure that regional climate centres have access to climate data records and provides specific training on climate data produced at EUMETSAT or by the SAF network.

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