The Nippon Foundation: Project to Map Ocean Floor by 2030 Now Operational
The Nippon Foundation Chairman Yohei Sasakawa announced at a press conference today that The Nippon Foundation – GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project is now operational. The Project will realize Mr. Sasakawa’s vision of mapping the entire ocean floor by 2030. The Nippon Foundation has pledged US$2 million annually, and is calling for additional support from the global ocean community.
Mr. Sasakawa noted, “The Nippon Foundation alone cannot achieve the objectives of this ambitious project. We will need the support of diverse stakeholders, including maritime corporations and technical experts. It is crucial that the ocean community comes together to achieve this goal”.
He was joined by leading ocean-mapping experts, who emphasized that understanding the bathymetry of the global ocean is imperative for improving maritime navigation, and also for enhancing our ability to predict climate change and monitor marine biodiversity and resources. A comprehensive map of the seafloor will assist global efforts to combat pollution, aid marine conservation, forecast tsunami, and better understand tides, wave action, and sediment transport.
Satinder Bindra, the project’s recently appointed director, brings a wealth of experience, having previously worked for major international institutions involved in environmental initiatives and sustainable development. The project draws on the experience of a growing network of more than 28 institutions and organizations around the world. The project will operate in four Regional Centers, each with responsibility for a region of the world’s ocean, with a Global Center based at the UK National Oceanography Center.
Notes to Editors
The Nippon Foundation is a private, non-profit, philanthropic foundation established in 1962. Using revenue from motorboat racing, the Foundation pursues social innovation, assistance for humanitarian activities, and global ocean management, incorporating the ideals of social development and self-sufficiency as it works to improve public health and education, alleviate poverty, eliminate hunger, and support persons with disabilities.
The General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) is a joint project of the International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO) and UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC). Originating from the GEBCO chart series initiated in 1903 by Prince Albert I of Monaco, GEBCO is the only organization with a mandate to map the entire ocean floor, and aims to provide the most authoritative, publicly-available bathymetric datasets for the world’s oceans.