Cooperation Mechanism

The GCOS Cooperation Mechanism advances the continuous expansion and improvement of global climate observations. Specifically, its purpose is to improve the scientific and technical essentials in developing countries.

© S. Hunziker, Universität Bern

Long-time, climate-relevant series of measurements represent an important basis for political decision makers. They are used to assess the risks and develop climate change adjustment strategies. A greater spatial measuring density helps improve global and regional climate models and the general understanding of climate. As a consequence, local effects of climate change in developing and newly industrialising countries can be assessed more accurately. Closing the spatial data gaps is a high priority, especially in developing and newly industrialising countries, which are underrepresented at GCOS.

Climate observations are therefore financially supported within the scope of the GCOS Cooperation Mechanism Board (GCM), which was founded in 2002. It promotes the knowledge transfer from industrialised to developing and newly industrialised countries. The aim is to strengthen the partner countries‘ ability to collect, manage and evaluate climate data over the long-term.

Swiss contribution to the expansion of observation systems

Switzerland has intensified its involvement to help close gaps in global climate observation. Two decommissioned weather stations in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Harare (Zimbabwe) were re-launched in 2008-2009 with the financial support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
Within the scope of Switzerland’s contribution to the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) programme, the weather service MeteoSwiss additionally sponsoring atmospheric climate observations in Kenya, Indonesia and Algeria.

Switzerland also helps to develop climate observation systems in developing and newly industrialising countries. Within Phase 1 of the project CATCOS (Capacity Building and Twinning for Climate Observing Systems), assistance has been provided with the set-up of atmospheric measuring stations in Indonesia, Vietnam, Kenia and Chile and glacier observations in Ecuador, Columbia and Kyrgyzstan from 2011 until 2013. In the second phase of CATCOS from 2014 until 2016, climate monitoring capacities were enhanced in ten countries, and the use of climate information was promoted. The project supported regional cooperation and highlighted the importance of systematic climatic observations at local, regional, and global level. CATCOS was financed by the SDC and coordinated by MeteoSwiss.

Other supported projects

  • Repair of generators and measurement infrastructure of the upper atmosphere in Nairobi, Kenya
  • Repair of generators and measurement infrastructure of the upper atmosphere in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Repair of generators and measurement infrastructure of the upper atmosphere in Harare, Zimbabwe
  • Provision of radio probes for Mauritius

Further information



12.09.2011 - 31.12.2016

Topic: Projects > International cooperation

The CATCOS project strengthened the capacities of ten developing and emerging countries to systematically gather climate data.