[SatNews] "...bringing significant benefits for key industries such as fisheries, agriculture and tourism, enhancing public safety and supporting other important areas such as...“
Iceland has joined EUMETSAT as its latest Member State, following the signature of the accession agreement on 30 August 2013.
As a Member State, Iceland is fully involved in the strategic decisions of EUMETSAT’s ruling Council. Also, its industry will be able to bid for contracts, and Icelandic nationals can become staff members, in addition to Iceland obtaining unlimited access to all EUMETSAT data and products.
The Minister for Environment and Natural Resources of Iceland, Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, said: "Accession to EUMETSAT will improve Iceland‘s forecasting capabilities, bringing significant benefits for key industries such as fisheries, agriculture and tourism, enhancing public safety and supporting other important areas such as road construction, research and education.“
Welcoming Iceland as a new Member State, the EUMETSAT Director-General, Alain Ratier, said: “I am very pleased to see Iceland join the EUMETSAT family of nations—less than half a year after our meeting in Reykjavik. This shows a clear recognition of the benefits provided by this organisation and it brings EUMETSAT very close to achieving our goal of 30 Member States in 2014.”
The European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites is an intergovernmental organization based in Darmstadt, Germany, currently with 29 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom) and two Cooperating States (Bulgaria 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 Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (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.