Union for Mediterranean and ECMWF sign cooperation accord

ECMWF and Union for the Mediterranean logos over image of Mediterranean

The Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and ECMWF signed an agreement on 25 October establishing bilateral cooperation concerning the uptake and impact of EU Copernicus services implemented by ECMWF.

The UfM pledges to maximise the uptake of the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) and the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), while ECMWF is to ensure that relevant expertise is made available.

C3S provides information about the past, present and future climate in Europe and the rest of the world, while CAMS provides information related to air pollution and health, solar energy, greenhouse gases and climate forcing across the world.

The UfM is an intergovernmental institution that brings together EU Member States and 15 countries from the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean to promote dialogue and cooperation.

In addition, ECMWF is due to sign agreements with Italy and the European Investment Bank (EIB) that also aim to ensure enhanced cooperation with the Centre’s Copernicus services.

Cooperation with Mediterranean region

The UfM is well placed to use ECMWF’s Copernicus services because of its transboundary nature.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with ECMWF means that it will aim to make the best use of the products, services and tools developed or made available by C3S and CAMS. This includes maximum uptake of Copernicus data and information to support the implementation of relevant EU and UN policies.

In turn, ECMWF is to support the UfM in developing a user-friendly data portal, indicators and information for stakeholders in the Mediterranean region. It is also expected to provide relevant training material and sessions.

Joint action is foreseen to increase C3S and CAMS data uptake and impact as well as user satisfaction.

Regular consultations have been agreed, and joint meeting twice a year will oversee the cooperation.

Cooperation with Italy and the EIB

Similar agreements have also been drafted with Italy and the EIB. They are expected to be signed within the next few weeks.

At the heart of the draft agreement with Italy is the Italian government’s Copernicus Mirror Programme, which is intended to develop and promote Italian and European geospatial services based on Copernicus data products.

A ‘buyers group’ of institutions and public bodies will set out requirements for the information products they need, grouped by themes such as hydro-meteorology, climate services, air quality, monitoring of land cover and use, water resources and emergency services.

Another element integral to the Copernicus Mirror Programme is the CoMaP, a digital marketplace that will match demand and supply of applications and services based on Copernicus data.

ECMWF will support the initiative in various ways, including through technical support, product development and validation, and joint actions aimed at increasing the uptake and impact of CoMaP and Copernicus services.

The draft agreement with the EIB aims to support climate change adaptation and mitigation activities at the EIB as the EU’s future climate bank.

C3S and CAMS data are to be explored as reference data sources in EIB guidance documents for borrowers, and the impacts of climate change at the level of projects or investment portfolios are to be assessed and monitored.

NB: The MoU with the EIB was signed on 9 November 2021 – see the article on the Copernicus website.

Data in action

Stijn Vermoote, the Head of ECMWF’s User Outreach and Engagement Section, explains the importance of the three agreements:

“With these dedicated partnerships, we are taking another step in putting our data into action. Together with our partners, ECMWF paves the way for the enhanced uptake and applicability of Copernicus data products and services at national, regional and EU level.”