New Director of Seabed 2030 Project Takes Over

The new director of The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project, Jamie McMichael-Phillips, has now taken up his position.

He will lead one of the most challenging projects of the next decade, the mapping of the entire ocean floor by the year 2030.

The announcement of his appointment was made in October.

“In the last four weeks, data sharing agreements have been signed with PGS, the Norwegian-based marine geophysical company, and the Schmidt Ocean Institute, which will share all its mapping data with us,” said McMichael-Phillips. “Schmidt alone will add more than one million square kilometers of ocean floor to Seabed 2030’s data resources.”

As a chartered surveyor, hydrographer and mariner, McMichael-Phillips has had extensive experience in strategy and policy formulation, together with international engagement, negotiation, leadership and mentoring – gained during his Royal Navy career and in civilian life.

He has managed government to government relationships for the exchange of geospatial data for navigational safety, and for the benefit of the wider Blue Economy. He has led on outreach and capacity building of fledgling organisations in marine data collection, assessment and cartography.

Prior to his Seabed 2030 appointment, McMichael-Phillips chaired – for over nine years – the International Hydrographic Organisation’s Worldwide Electronic Navigational Charts (ENC) Database working group, responsible for monitoring the global footprint of electronic charts needed for safe navigation by commercial shipping.

On his appointment, McMichael-Phillips said: “The shape of the ocean is fundamental to how we predict climate change, tsunami modelling, ocean currents circulation, weather patterns and how we sustainably manage the oceans.

“Seabed 2030 actively compliments the goals of the United Nations Sustainable Development 14 and the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. At last the world seems to be recognising the importance of this task. As we move forward, the need for global collaboration is an imperative if we are to achieve this shared goal for humanity by 2030.”

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