A novel accurate numerical model for shallow water equations on sphere have been developed by implementing the high order multi-moment constrained finite volume (MCV) method on the icosahedral geodesic grid. High order reconstructions are conducted cell-wisely by making use of the point values as the unknowns distributed within each triangular cell element. The time evolution equations to update the unknowns are derived from a set of constrained conditions for two types of moments, i.e. the point values on the cell boundary edges and the cell-integrated average. The numerical conservation is rigorously guaranteed. in the present model, all unknowns or computational variables are point values and no numerical quadrature is involved, which particularly benefits the computational accuracy and efficiency in handling the spherical geometry, such as coordinate transformation and curved surface. Numerical formulations of third and fourth order accuracy are presented in detail. The proposed numerical model has been validated by widely used benchmark tests and competitive results are obtained. The present numerical framework provides a promising and practical base for further development of atmospheric and oceanic general circulation models. (C) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.