Iceland signs accession agreement with EUMETSAT

Darmstadt, (PresseBox) - Iceland is on its way to becoming a EUMETSAT Member State in 2014 following the signature of the accession agreement by EUMETSAT Director-General Alain Ratier and Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, Minister for Environment and Natural Resources of Iceland on 30 August.

After the completion of the ratification process, Iceland will be fully involved in the strategic decisions of EUMETSAT’s ruling Council, in addition to having access to all EUMETSAT data and products.

Jóhannsson said: "Accurate weather forecasting is particularly important for Iceland and key industries, including fisheries, agriculture and tourism. Accession to EUMETSAT will improve our ability to predict our changeable weather, it will enhance surveillance of the atmosphere and natural phenomena and improve public safety." Árni Snorrason, Director-General of the Icelandic Met Office, said: “Unlimited access to EUMETSAT data and products will benefit road construction, marine and natural science research, universities and software companies in Iceland. In addition, Icelandic companies will be able to bid for contracts and take part in projects within EUMETSAT.”

Ratier added: “By becoming a Member State, Iceland marks its recognition of the benefits provided by our satellites. This is an essential signal to all our Member States at a time when EUMETSAT needs to invest in the renewal of its system of polar-orbiting satellites.”

EUMETSAT

The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites is an intergovernmental organisation based in Darmstadt, Germany, currently with 27 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom) and four Cooperating States (Bulgaria, Iceland, Lithuania and Serbia).

EUMETSAT operates the geostationary satellites Meteosat-8, -9 and -10 over Europe and Africa, and Meteosat-7 over the Indian Ocean.

EUMETSAT also operates two Metop polar orbiting satellites as part of the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS) shared with the US National Administration for Atmosphere and Ocean (NOAA). The Metop-B polar-orbiting meteorological satellite, launched on 17 September 2012, became prime operational satellite on 24 April 2013. It replaced Metop-A, the first European polar-orbiting meteorological satellite, which was launched in October 2006. Metop-A will continue operations as long as its available capacities bring benefits to users.

The Jason-2 ocean altimetry satellite, launched on 20 June 2008 and exploited jointly with NOAA, NASA and CNES, added monitoring of sea state, ocean currents and sea level change to the EUMETSAT product portfolio.

The data and products from EUMETSAT's satellites are vital to weather forecasting and make a significant contribution to the monitoring of environment and the global climate.


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