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Figure 5: Space-based sub-system of the Global Observing System in 2003.

To better satisfy the needs of all WMO and supported programmes for satellite data, products and services from both operational and R&D satellites and in consideration of the increasing role of both types of satellites, WMO felt it appropriate to propose an expansion of the present mechanisms for coordination within the WMO structure and cooperation between WMO and the operators of operational meteorological satellites and R&D satellites. In doing so, WMO felt that an effective means to improve cooperation with both operational meteorological and R&D satellite operators would be through an expanded CGMS that would include those R&D space agencies contributing to the space-based component of the GOS.

WMO agreed that the WMO satellite activities had grown and that it was now appropriate to establish a WMO Space Programme as a matter of priority. The scope, goals and objectives of the new programme should respond to the tremendous growth in the utilization of environmental satellite data, products and services within the expanded space-based component of the GOS that now include appropriate Research and Development environmental satellite missions. The Consultative Meetings on High-Level Policy on Satellite Matters should be institutionalized in order to more formally establish the dialogue and participation of environmental satellite agencies in WMO matters. In considering the important contributions made by environmental satellite systems to WMO and its supported programmes as well as the large expenditures by the space agencies, WMO felt it appropriate that the overall responsibility for the new WMO Space Programme should be assigned to CBS and a new institutionalized Consultative Meetings on High-Level Policy on Satellite Matters.

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