Summit on the oceans: at least 80% of the seabed mapped by 2030, promises Unesco

To meet these challenges, the UN agency will mobilize a fleet of 50 ships specially dedicated to mapping the seabed and will intensify the use of sonar on autonomous ships, as well as the transmission by governments and companies of cartographic data whose they dispose.

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The seabed still holds many secrets. On the occasion of the summit on the ocean which is being held in Brest (Finistère), the UN organization for education, science and culture (Unesco) is committed, Thursday, February 10, to this that at least 80% of the seabed be mapped by 2030. “Only 20% of the seabed is mapped. We must go further and mobilize the international community so that at least 80% of the seabed is mapped by 2030”, announced in a press release Audrey Azoulay, director general of the United Nations agency which leads the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) initiative.

In order to achieve this objective, at a cost of five billion euros, three axes are envisaged: the mobilization of a fleet of 50 ships specially dedicated to the mapping of the seabed, the intensification of the use of sonar on ship autonomous and the transmission by governments and companies of the cartographic data at their disposal.

“Knowing the depth and the reliefs of the seabed is essential to understand the location of oceanic faults, the functioning of ocean currents and tides, such as that of sediment transport”says Unesco.

“These data contribute to protecting populations by anticipating seismic risks and tsunamis, to identifying natural sites that should be safeguarded, to identifying fishery resources for sustainable exploitation, to planning the construction of offshore infrastructure, or even to respond effectively to disasters such as oil spills, air accidents or shipwrecks”, adds the agency, for which they also play a major role in the evaluation of the future effects of climate change.

Fifteen Heads of State and Government are expected in Brest on Friday on the last day of the “One Ocean Summit”, which aims to advance several key issues around the safety of fishing vessels, marine protected areas or a possible international treaty on the high seas, outside national jurisdictions.

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