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Seabed 2030 and World Ocean Council Agree New Partnership for Sustainable Stewardship of the Oceans

A new partnership for sustainable stewardship of the ocean has been agreed between The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project and the World Ocean Council (WOC), the global blue economy business organization, in an effort to further collaboration towards mapping the entirety of the world’s ocean floor.

Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Seabed 2030 and the WOC will jointly engage with the ocean business community to promote the project’s vision and the ways in which organizations in the maritime community can collect and contribute bathymetric data to Seabed 2030.

The agreement was signed in Copenhagen on 14 May by Dr Graham Allen, Acting Director of Seabed 2030, and Paul Holthus, Founding President and CEO of the WOC, on the fringes of the 1st Global Planning Meeting of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

To mark the signing of the MOU it was announced that Seabed 2030 will be taking part in the World Ocean Council’s 7th annual Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS), Paris, 20-22 November 2019, and will collaborate with the WOC to conduct a workshop for industry on bathymetric data collection and sharing.

“Collaboration across continents and different sectors of the maritime community is absolutely essential to our goal of producing a definitive, publicly available map of the world’s ocean floor”, said Dr Graham Allen. “This partnership with the World Ocean Council will help us engage the ocean business community in pursuit of this goal. The role that they can play contributing or collecting data will help advance our understanding of the ocean, and of how we can act sustainably and responsibly in the future.”

Speaking after the signing, Paul Holthus said: “The World Ocean Council is the unique international cross-sectoral business leadership alliance for ocean sustainable development, science and stewardship. The MOU with Seabed 2030 strengthens our efforts to encourage ocean industries to contribute bathymetric data, which we are advancing as part of the broader WOC Smart Ocean – Smart Industries program, which engages the full range of ocean business sectors to participate in data collection and sharing.”

The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project, launched by Mr Yohei Sasakawa of The Nippon Foundation at the UN Ocean Conference in 2017, is a collaborative project to map the entirety of the world’s ocean floor by the year 2030, and to include all bathymetric data in the freely available GEBCO Ocean Map.

In pursuit of this goal, Seabed 2030 is building a global community of ocean mappers, hydrographers, scientists, industry, and the public to discover and publish all existing bathymetric data. Seabed 2030 also aims to inform and inspire new mapping expeditions to ‘map the gaps’ in our knowledge of the seafloor, and provide the world with the definitive map of ocean bathymetry.

Story by The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project

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