Permafrost is recognized as Essential Climate Variable (ECV) within the Global Climate Observing System of UN and ICSU organisations. The Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (GTN-P) is the primary international programme concerned with long-term monitoring of permafrost. The core mission of the GTN-P is sustained comprehensive long-term monitoring network, in order to provide consistent, representative and high quality standardized long-term data series of selected permafrost parameters at key sites and to assess their state and changes over time. The Strategy and Implementation Plan 2016-2020 outlines recent progress and future challenges facing the network. It describes the governance and management structure of GTN-P, linkages to regional and global observing systems, management process and reporting strategies. It presents measurement methods and protocols used in field data collection and state of the art data management system, which was recently designed and implemented to process, analyse, and visualize permafrost data. It concludes with the outlook of the future developments of the network in order to sustain and succeed its core mission of providing long-term observations and maintain the availability of data collected.