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At the 2011 IOC General Assembly the governance of GOOS was adapted to "Strengthen & Streamline" GOOS.  The major change was to make GOOS more responsive to the IOC Assembly by removing the intervening body of the Intergovernmental Committee for GOOS (I-GOOS).  Now a GOOS Steering Committee gives scientific guidance and advice to the implementing bodies of GOOS, and reports to the IOC Assembly.  The IOC Assembly is thus immediately responsible for activities, policy and support of GOOS. The GOOS Steering Committee will appoint several working Panels to give advice on domains of GOOS, such as Open Ocean/Physics and Climate, Biology and Ecosystems and Biogeochemistry. The Implementation of GOOS continues as in the past through UNESCO/IOC/WMO/ICSU/UNEP sanctioned bodies which coordinate together to advance the GOOS objectives of a comprehensive, sustained, operational and international ocean observing system. 

  • IOC Assembly is the intergovernmental body responsible for strategic direction and encouraging member states to commit to sustainable support.
  • GSC (GOOS Steering Committee)
  • Essential Ocean Variables Panels
    are advisory bodies which supply the GSC with scientific studies and expertise underpinning the strategic goals of GOOS. The Ocean Observations Panel for Climate (OOPC) continues its role advising GOOS and GCOS on global ocean physics essential ocean variables. The Biogeochemistry Panel will naturally be organized by the International Ocean Carbon Coordination Panel (IOCCP). The Biology & Ecology panel is a new creation, which has received support for a new Secretariat hosted by Australia. Biology & Ecosystem and Biogeochemistry Panels had their first formative meetings in Nov. 2013.
  • GRAs (GOOS Regional Alliances),
    JCOMM (Joint WMO-IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology). 
    IODE (Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange)
    GPO (GOOS Programme Office)
    ROOS, RCOOS, (Regional Ocean Observation Systems and Regional Coastal Ocean Observation Systems) are smaller scale, usually national, observing systems.