UN Decade of Ocean Science

The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) will provide a common framework to ensure that ocean science can fully support countries’ actions to sustainably manage the Oceans and to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

As part of the global celebrations for World Oceans Day 2021, UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission announced the Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project (Seabed 2030) as one of the first Actions officially endorsed as part of the UN Ocean Decade.

A collaborative project of global ambition and scope, Seabed 2030 aims to inspire, support and coordinate the mapping of all the world’s oceans by the end of the decade. In 2017, when we launched, only six percent of the seabed was mapped to a modern standard. The GEBCO digital map, which is freely available for all, now covers almost 25% of the seabed but we still have a monumental task ahead, one that can only be achieved through global cooperation.  Every time a research vessel adds bathymetry data gathering to its mission, every time a ship takes a slightly altered course while in transit to survey an uncharted area, they are filling the gaps in the grid.

As part of the Call for Decade Actions No. 04/2022, governments, organizations and individuals are invited to: contribute data and resources to Seabed 2030; support our vital global effort; and help us explore the planet’s final frontier.

For our four regional areas, we have produced some guidelines on where collection of bathymetric data might be prioritized, alongside other science missions, to help fill the gaps in the GEBCO grid.

Arctic and North Pacific Ocean

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Atlantic and Indian Oceans

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South and West Pacific Oceans

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Southern Ocean

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