This Memorandum of Understanding is made between the International Atomic Energy Agency (hereinafter referred to as the "IAEA") whose address is Wagramerstrasse 5, P.O. Box 100, A-1400 Vienna, Austria, and the World Meteorological Organization (hereinafter referred to as "WMO") whose address is 41, Avenue Giuseppe Motta, Geneva, Switzerland.

WHEREAS the relationship between the IAEA and the WMO is conducted within the framework of the Agreement between the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Meteorological Organization;

WHEREAS anticipated changes in the water cycle and in climate call for collaboration among the institutions and organizations responsible for monitoring parameters indicative of those changes;

WHEREAS institutions in Member States have made available to the IAEA and WMO precipitation samples for isotope analysis and/or results of the observation of isotopic composition of atmospheric precipitation;

WHEREAS the IAEA and WMO desire to create a framework for co-operation to
sustain observation on the isotopic composition of atmospheric precipitation;

NOW, THEREFORE, the IAEA and WMO hereby agree on the following:

1 . The IAEA and WMO hereby establish a framework for co-operation to sustain observation on isotope composition of atmosphere precipitation as follows:

a) A Global Network of Isotopes in Precipitation (GNIP) which shall consist of the following components:

i) Reference stations situated in climatically relevant locations;

ii) National networks composed of stations operated by national authorities;

iii) Affiliated stations which are stations resulting from studies, often of a short term nature, that are set up for various scientific/research purposes by national institutions.

The lists of the stations/networks shall be agreed upon from time to time by the IAEA
and WMO.

b) A data base which shall include all data provided by the GNIP and which shall be operated by the IAEA under the name of GNIP Data Base;

c) A Scientific Steering Committee which shall review operational and scientific aspects of the GNIP and the GNIP Data Base and advise the IAEA and WMO in matters related to the GNIP and the GNIP Data Base during periodic meetings. The terms of reference and composition of the Scientific Steering Committee are set out in Annex 1.

2. The basic mode of operation of GNIP stations referred to in Clause I (a), (b) and (c) above shall be:

a) the sampling of precipitation (monthly totals) at selected locations at which other relevant meteorological parameters will also be routinely observed, and

b) collection of meteorological data accompanying the samples, such as monthly mean surface air temperature, monthly mean water vapor pressure in surface air and monthly amount of precipitation.

3. Sampling, sample curation and subsequent shipment of samples to the analytical laboratories in Annex 2 shall be the responsibility of the operators of each station/network.  The protocols to be followed shall be as defined by the IAEA.  The effectiveness and quality of the sampling, sample curation and sample shipment procedures shall be established by the IAEA and the WMO.

4. The isotope and relevant meteorological data from the reference stations, the national networks and affiliated stations shall be collected by the IAEA and placed in the GNIP data base.

5. The IAEA shall, through interaction with the stations network, provision of standards, organization of inter-laboratory comparisons and provision of specialized training, ensure that the quality of the isotope data being collected is maintained at an appropriate level.

6. WMO shall recommend to its Members that all relevant meteorological data are collected at the reference stations (or the nearest available synoptic stations) and that their quality is maintained at an appropriate level.

7. The IAEA shall be responsible for:

a) liaison with analytical laboratories with a view to providing advise on effective isotope analyses of water samples and analytical quality;

b) isotope analysis of the water samples of at least 40 reference stations; and

c)      data archiving, management and dissemination.

8. The WMO shall be responsible for liaison with the national Meteorological and Hydrometeorological Services of its Members with a view to providing advise on

a) sampling of precipitation at the network stations;

b) shipment of the samples to analytical laboratories;

c) provision of relevant meteorological data to the stations network.

9. The IAEA and WMO shall, subject to the budgetary appropriations approved by their competent bodies, make the necessary financial arrangements for their activities to be carried out under the Memorandum of Understanding.

10. The IAEA and WMO may agree from time to time to explore the feasibility of liaison with other institutions, working in the area covered by this Memorandum of Understanding.

11. The IAEA and WMO agree that, to the extent practicable without cost to either organization and with prior consultation, they will allow other scientific institutions, governments and governmental bodies and other interested parties to have access to the data contained in the GNIP data base.

12. Neither Party may assign, transfer, pledge or make any other disposition of this Memorandum of Understanding without the prior written consent of the other Party.

13. Each Party shall be responsible for the acts or omissions of its employees, agents, and contractors in the execution of this Memorandum of Understanding.

14. All disputes arising out of or relating to the interpretation or implementation of this MOU, which cannot otherwise be settled by the Parties, shall be referred by either Party to arbitration for settlement in accordance with the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules in force at the date the dispute is referred to arbitration.  The number of arbitrators shall be one.  The place of arbitration shall be Vienna, Austria.  The language of the arbitration shall be English.  The decision of the arbitrator shall be final and binding on the Parties.

15.  This Memorandum of Understanding may be terminated by either Party in whole or in part, upon sixty (60) days written notice to the other.

16. This Memorandum of Understanding may be amended or modified by written agreement signed by the authorized representative of the Parties.

17. This Memorandum of Understanding shall enter into force on the date of the last signature by the representatives of the Parties.

The GNIP - Scientific Steering Committee


The GNIP Scientific Steering Committee (GNIP-SSC) shall provide advice to the IAEA and
WMO on matters related to the GNIP and to the GNIP Data Base.

Terms of reference

The mandate of the GNIP SSC includes:

(a) annual review of the status of the GNIP and the GNIP Data Base;

(b) report to IAEA and WMO on the status of the GNIP and the GNIP Data Base;

(c) recommendations to IAEA and WMO on actions needed with respect to:
- interaction with major ongoing scientific programmes;
- definition of the reference stations and the necessary revisions/extensions;
- strengthening the involvement of national networks and laboratories in the GNIP and the GNIP Data Base;
- attracting funding from donors to support the activities of the GNIP;
- promotion of the utilisation of the GNIP Data Base.


1. The IAEA and WMO shall be represented on the GNIP SSC by two representatives of WMO (including a representative of WCRP), two representatives of IAEA, one representative of the Past Global Changes project (PAGES), a core project of the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme (IGBP).

2. The scientific community shall be represented by up to six members selected for a period of three years and with the possibility of one renewal selected by the IAEA and WMO.

3. The IAEA and WMO may invite representatives of other international organizations, programmes and National Networks to attend meetings of the SSC as observers.

4. The Chairmanship of the GNIP-SSC shall rotate every two years between the IAEA and WMO.


The regular meetings of the GNIP-SSC shall take place once a year.  Other meetings of the GNIP-SSC may be held as agreed between the IAEA and WMO.  The Parties shall determine the venue of each meeting.

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