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New TOPC Chairman

04 February 2002


The Chairmen of the GTOS and GCOS steering committee's are pleased to announce that Dr. Alan Belward has agreed to chair the joint Terrestrial Observation Panel on Climate (TOPC). Dr. Belward works for the European Commission's Joint Research Centre in Italy where he is Head of the Global Vegetation Monitoring Unit in the Institute for Environment and Sustainability. The unit provides quantitative characterization of ecosystem dynamics for sustainable management of land resources and supports the multilateral environmental agreements signed by the European Community.

His research interests focus on global land cover monitoring using data from Earth observing satellites. He received the B.Sc degree in Plant Biology from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne,in 1981, and M.Phil and PhD degrees in remote sensing studies of vegetation, both from Cranfield University's School of Agriculture, Food and Environment in 1986 and 1993 respectively. He chaired the IGBP Land Cover working group during its creation, the IGBP's global land cover data set in the 1990s and was chair of the G7 Committee for Earth Observing Satellites working group on Calibration and Validation from 1996 to 2000. He has been vice- chair of the GOFC-GOLD science panel since its creation in 2000.

We welcome Dr. Belward and express again our great appreciation for the work of Dr. Josef Cihlar who led the the panel since 1995.

Among the immediate priorities for the TOPC will be the preparation of inputs on the adequacy of in situ and satellite terrestrial observing systems to meet the requirements of the climate change convention and to make recommendations for improvement. The second adequacy report will be considered at the UNFCCC SBSTTA and COP. Information on this process can be found at: http://www.wmo.ch/web/gcos/gcoshome.html.

More information on the TOPC can be obtained at: http://www.fao.org/gtos/TOPC.html.

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© FAO   ::   Global Terrestrial Observing System - GTOS   ::   16 May 2002