Collaborating for a better future

Collaborating for a better future

By Sarah Grimes, WMO Secretariat


“Individually we are one drop; but together we are an ocean.” – Ryunosoke Satoro


Sharing a common goal is the basis for strong partnerships. WMO, as the United Nations specialized agency for weather, climate and water, works towards enhanced comprehension of the Earth System, including the important links between ocean, climate and weather. A better understanding of the world in which we live will help, amongst others, to improve weather forecasts, to gauge the impacts of climate change and to manage water resources. These skills, in turn, will help countries to strengthen their ability to keep lives and property safe from natural hazards – reducing the risk of disaster – and to maintain viable economies. Toward this, WMO functions in a shared space with diverse partners to implement and support various high level international frameworks. These include the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the International Safety of Life at Sea Convention, amongst many.

In working across this shared space, partnerships are vital. Within the United Nations family, WMO and other agencies with ocean focused activities form UN-Oceans. This interagency mechanism boosts the coordination, coherence and effectiveness within the participating organizations with other international organizations. The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science of Sustainable Development, which started in January 2021, will heighten the close collaboration within UN-Oceans and other partners for harnessing further synergies to pool ideas and proactively advance solutions for the sustainable development of the ocean.

WMO is proud to collaborate across a broad spectrum of partners toward the mutual goal of supporting countries and serving the common good. The articles that follow spotlight three of WMO’s principal ocean partners: the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).



The UN-Oceans is made up of many participating agencies, collaborating to strengthen the collective efforts of ocean activities.


The IMO and WMO – Providing weather information to support safe navigation

“What maximum winds are expected in the storm area?” That is one of Standard Marine Communication Phrases under the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that officers in charge of navigation on ships, whatever their nationality, must be able to use and understand in English.

The IHO and WMO – over a century of collaboration

The catastrophic sinking of the SS Titanic on the night of the 14/15 April 1912 was the catalyst for many innovations, initiatives and regulations that the maritime community now take for granted.

From ocean and atmosphere interaction to IOC and WMO cooperation

The theme of the 2021 World Meteorological Day highlights the inherent links and long-term cooperation between oceanography and meteorology. Two centuries ago, considerations of the safety of marine navigation were the decisive motivation for calling the first conference on marine meteorological observations.