National coordination for the observation of sea levels
On 20 April 2010 the French Secretariat for marine affairs approved by delegation from the Prime Minister the instruction relating to the observation of sea levels and the management and distribution of data, which officially conferred on SHOM the role of national coordinator and reference authority in the field.
The instruction is available on the Prime Minister's site "circulaires.gouv.fr".
For information, national coordination of the observation of sea levels is a result of the recommendations of the parliamentary office for the evaluation of scientific and technological options (OPECST) and the French Secretariat for marine affairs (SGMer) and forms part of the steps to establish national reference authorities announced in the Blue Book approved by the Prime Minister on 7 December last.
The general objective is to develop the principle of a unique window of observations of tide gauge sea levels.
SHOM is therefore establishing the component parts to enable it to assume the role of national reference authority for "sea levels" defined by the following functions:
coordination of the collection of observations of sea levels made by all public departments, establishments and organisations falling within the province of public authorities;
control and archiving of observations collected off-line;
definition of the networks for observing sea levels and, notably, their architecture and specifications for all new deployment;
definition and promotion of suitable operational means for transmission;
coordination of the real-time and non-real-time distribution of the observations making sure that the conditions for accessibility and use conform to the requirements in force relating to public information;
monitoring that the observations that it receives conform to current standards;
definition, distribution, promotion and monitoring of national and international standards;
contribution to representing Francein community and international organisations concerned with observation, in conjunction with other parties involved in this field.
The post of national coordinator for the observation of sea levels has been established within SHOM. This post was created as part of the CRATANEM project with the support of the Ministry for Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and Marine Affairs (MEEDDM) and the Ministry for Home and Foreign Affairs and Local Government (MIOMCT). The post has been occupied by Nicolas Pouvreau since 1 December 2009.
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