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UNESCO Celebrates Marine Mapping, Acknowledging the Pioneer Role of Prince Albert I

June 29, 2023
UNESCO Celebrates Marine Mapping, Acknowledging the Pioneer Role of Prince Albert I


During the 32nd General Assembly of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) at UNESCO in Paris, the 120th anniversary of the GEBCO project - General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans – was commemorated. The objective of this project, led by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), is to map all the ocean floors.

The importance of mapping for the development of new fundamental and applied knowledge was emphasized by Mr. Vladimir Ryabinin, the Executive Secretary of IOC, and Mr. Luigi Sinapi, the Director of IHO. This work is particularly crucial in the context of the Ocean Science Decade (2021-2030) adopted by the United Nations.

S.E. Mme Anne-Marie Boisbouvier, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Monaco to UNESCO, highlighted in her speech the pioneering role of Prince Albert I in this initiative. His commitment to ocean study contributed to the understanding of submarine topography and marine floor mapping, laying the groundwork for subsequent works such as GEBCO. She also highlighted Monaco's international efforts to increase scientific data in the oceanic field.

Praising the Nippon Foundation's funding for this global mapping project by 2030, the Ambassador highlighted the promise represented by the 20% of the ocean floor now mapped, compared to only 6% in 2017.

The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) has identified this global mapping project as a flagship program under the title Seabed 2030, with the goal of achieving 100% mapped areas by 2030.

The Principality of Monaco was invited as a "guest of Honour" due to its numerous commitments, primarily for hosting the IHO on its territory and for being the cradle of this organization through the Hydrographic Office since 1921. The Princely Government contributes to the IOC by supporting its program in favor of the Global Sea Level Observing System (GLOSS) - tsunami alert - as well as the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) whose SeaBed 2030 program is a flagship project.

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