The International Hydrographic Organization is an intergovernmental consultative and technical organization that was established in 1921 to support safety of navigation and the protection of the marine environment.
The object of the Organization is to bring about:
- The coordination of the activities of national hydrographic offices ´ – The greatest possible uniformity in nautical charts and documents – The adoption of reliable and efficient methods of carrying out and exploiting hydrographic surveys – The development of the sciences in the field of hydrography and the techniques employed in descriptive oceanography
The official representative of each Member Government within the IHO is normally the national Hydrographer, or Director of Hydrography, who, together with their technical staff, meet at 5-yearly intervals in Monaco for an International Hydrographic Conference. The Conference reviews the progress achieved by the Organization through its committees, sub committees and working groups, and adopts the programmes to be pursued during the ensuing 5-year period. A Directing Committee of three senior hydrographers is elected to administer the work of the Organization during that time.
The Directing Committee, together with a small international staff of technical experts in hydrography and nautical cartography, makes up the International Hydrographic Bureau in Monaco. The IHB is the secretariat of the IHO, coordinating and promoting the IHO’s programmes and providing advice and assistance to Member States and others.
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