The hydrometeorological services of the States - participants of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) had common desire to prevent the rupture of the unified hydrometeorological space and they provided the signing of the Intergovernmental Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Hydrometeorology in Moscow on 8th of February 1992. It was one of the first intergovernmental documents of the CIS sectoral cooperation. Based on the Agreement the Interstate Council on Hydrometeorology (ICH) was established. For 25 years the ICH has been ensuring harmonization and coordination of tasks which are vital for all hydrometeorological services of the CIS:
• regular sharing of hydrometeorological information, including natural disasters;
• coherent methodology of hydrometeorological observations;
• coordinated collection and dissemination of hydrometeorological information;
• scientific research (development of long-term weather forecasts, methods of active influence on meteorological processes, etc.) and the study of global phenomena (climate change, ozone depletion, etc.);
• joint training for professionals in the field of hydrometeorology;
• interaction with the World Meteorological Organization.
The ICH includes the Heads of the hydrometeorological services of all CIS states.
The Intergovernmental Agreement on Intergovernmental Hydrometeorological Network of the CIS on cooperation in the field of active impact on meteorological and other geophysical processes, cooperation in training, improving qualifications and retraining of specialists in the field of hydrometeorology were signed at the initiative of the ICH. The concept of hydrometeorological safety of the CIS states was implemented. The second phase of the development strategy of hydrometeorological activities of the CIS states is carried out.
The main directions of cooperation of the ICH are:
sharing of information;
meteorological service of flights of civil aircrafts;
global climate change;
instruments and methods of measurements;
active influence on hydrometeorological processes;
monitoring of environmental pollution;
observational network activities;
telecommunications and satellite information;
storm warning and prevention and mitigation impact of natural disasters;
transboundary water transfer.
28 sessions were conducted during the existence time of the ICH. Each session considered 20 to 25 questions on the basic activities. All CIS members take part in the work of the Council of the ICH. Also the delegates of the WMO as observers attended all sessions of the Council. 14 times they were led by the Secretary General. The last 28th session of the ICH was held in October 2016 in Dushanbe, the capital of the Republic of Tajikistan.
For 25 years the Council has been conducting the activities with the aim of providing the economy and population of the CIS states with hydrometeorological information and forecasts, which allows to accomplish the tasks in the field of sustainable socio–economic development and rational use of natural resources. The timely transmission of information on hydrometeorological hazards, adverse meteorological and heliogeophysical processes saves countless lives and prevents damage.
The common space of sharing of hydrometeorological information was retained on the territories of CIS countries, as well as the interstate hydrometeorological network of CIS was created. The works on optimization of the system of communication and transmission of information and the works on introduction of the receiving stations of satellite information of the new generation are carried out. The order of interaction between national hydrometeorological services in the threat and occurrence of emergency situations of natural and technogenic character was agreed. The Regional specialized meteorological center (Reaserch Centre “Typhoon”) for providing the CIS states with the necessary information about the directions of propagation of plumes of contaminants in the technogenic accidents was determined. The Drought monitor centre and the North Eurasia Climate Centre (NEACC) were created.
The activities of ICH was given a high rating of the CIS Executive Committee and is recognized as one of the most effective among the other interstate councils of the CIS.