COP27 Side Event

COP27 Side Event: Seabed 2030 - Mapping for People and Planet

Ocean Pavilion, Blue Zone
16 November 2022, 16:45 - 17:45

The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 project is a global collective relentless in its pursuit of achieving a complete map of the ocean floor by 2030.

Undoubtedly, seabed mapping is an enabler of international management of our ocean, and influences the development of a sustainable blue economy. Seabed maps also provide the foundational knowledge we need to address many ocean, climate change, and biodiversity issues. Therefore, achieving a global ocean map by 2030 is not so much an ambition, but a necessity. Without it, we will struggle to achieve joined-up policies, which in turn reduces our ability to effectively mitigate and adapt to climate change and realise a sustainable ocean that supports a growing global population. And yet, over 75% of the ocean remains uncharted. For this event, we bring together a diverse panel of experts to discuss how seabed mapping data is essential in addressing climate change and for safeguarding the future of the planet, and explore how we can work together to achieve this critical goal.

The session will:

-Consider the benefits of seabed mapping to the sustainable blue economy, blue carbon projects, marine conservation, and fisheries management in the face of a climate emergency.

-Explore the many ways seabed maps can help us prepare for rising sea levels, tsunamis, and coastal flooding under future climate change scenarios.

-Provide participants with an holistic view of how Seabed 2030 is engaging with partners, including those in government and the private sector, and demonstrate where there are strategic opportunities for collaboration.

-Aim to encourage and inspire global stakeholders to mobilise across sectors so that we can collectively find solutions that enable 100% of the ocean to be mapped.

Panel Participants

Moderated by Steve Hall, Head of Partnership at Seabed 2030.

A Chartered Marine Scientist, Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology, and Fellow of the Society for Underwater Technology, Steve has worked in global ocean science, technology, and policy for over thirty years, in the fields of sustained ocean observing, marine autonomous systems, policy, industry liaison and outreach. He was Head of the UK delegation to UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission 2013-2017, was elected Vice Chair of IOC 2015-17 and represented IOC at the UN discussions on new governance for areas beyond national jurisdiction. He also led the International Office at the UK’s National Oceanography Centre, served as a tsunami warning national point of contact, and as a policy advisor in areas such as development of the UK’s marine spatial planning system before moving into the private sector in 2017 as CEO for the Society for Underwater Technology, and later as CEO Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum and Marine Energy Wales. He also created the popular ‘Underwater Technology Podcast.'

Panel Speakers:

Narissa Bax works as the Marine and Coastal Program Coordinator at the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute. She specialises in seafloor biodiversity, conservation genetics and blue carbon with a particular focus in the Sub-Antarctic/Antarctica and on deep sea corals.

Sophie Seeyave is the CEO of the Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean (POGO), based at Plymouth Marine Laboratory in the UK. Her scientific background is in Harmful Algal Bloom ecology. Her current role involves leading the POGO Secretariat to deliver the POGO programme, following the vision set out by the 55+ POGO members -oceanographic research institutions in around 30 countries working together towards global ocean observations, through innovation, capacity development and outreach and advocacy.

Bernadette Snow is the Deputy Director of the One Ocean Hub at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK. She is also an Adjunct Professor in the Institute for Coastal and Marine Research, Nelson Mandela University. She holds a PhD in Botany. Bernadette publishes in the fields of ocean governance, social-ecological systems, marine spatial planning and transdisciplinary research. She has contributed towards regional approaches for marine spatial planning and area-based management particularly for the Western Indian Ocean Region.

Rick Spinrad was sworn in on June 22, 2021 as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and the 11th NOAA Administrator. Dr. Spinrad is responsible for the strategic direction and oversight of the agency and its over 12,000 employees, including developing NOAA’s portfolio of products and services to address the climate crisis, enhancing environmental sustainability and fostering economic development, and creating a more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive NOAA workforce.