The time is now to improve our understanding of the world's ocean
08 December 2022
Human health and well-being, including sustainable and equitable economic development, are intrinsically connected to the world’s ocean. The ocean provides food, energy, medicine, and supports the livelihoods of over 3 billion people. It is also an essential ally in the fight against climate change and a source of significant cultural, aesthetic, and recreational values. From an economic point of view, the ocean is of monumental importance, with the ocean’s economic output predicted to reach US$3 trillion by 2030.
Despite this, we have only observed 5% of the deep ocean and directly mapped 24% of the ocean floor. You can’t manage what you don’t understand, and as a result, two closely related ocean initiatives have been launched within the past five years to radically improve our understanding of the world’s oceans. The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development is a multifaceted initiative focused on developing a common, global framework for ocean science. It aims to help reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health and help countries create improved conditions for sustainable ocean development. A key enabler of the Ocean Decade is a wholly mapped ocean, and to this end, The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project was created to inspire the complete mapping of the world’s oceans by 2030 and compile all bathymetric data into the freely available GEBCO Ocean Map.
Success in these programs will require cross-sectoral, interdisciplinary collaboration and partnerships, and a bottom-up approach. Stakeholders from government, academia, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and society at large will need to support, partner, and collaborate to achieve the overall goals and objectives of both initiatives. This webinar will provide an overview of the scope and objectives of both programs, describe their relationship, and provide insights on how / why members of the SUT community can get involved.