The Seabed 2030 Project
The global initiative is a collaboration between Japan’s non-profit Nippon Foundation and the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO).
- As per its website, GEBCO is the only intergovernmental organisation with a mandate to map the entire ocean floor, and traces its origins to the GEBCO chart series initiated in 1903 by Prince Albert I of Monaco.
- The Project was launched at the United Nations Ocean Conference in 2017, and coordinates and oversees the sourcing and compilation of bathymetric data from different parts of the world’s ocean through its five centres into the freely-available GEBCO Grid.
- In the past, satellites and planes carrying altimeter instruments have been able to provide large swathes of data about the ocean floor.
- The Seabed 2030 Project, however, aims to obtain higher quality information that has a minimum resolution of 100 m at all spots, using equipment such as deepwater hull-mounted sonar systems, and more advanced options such as Underwater Vehicles (AUVs).
- For this, the project aims to rope in governments, private companies, and international organisations to acquire data.