Seabed 2030 South and West Pacific Centre Regional Mapping Committee Meeting
On 3–6 March 2019, the South and West Pacific Centre for the Seabed 2030 Project hosted its first Regional Mapping Committee Meeting in Wellington, New Zealand. The South and West Pacific Centre (SaWPaC) is responsible for an area covering c. 124,000,000 km2 from the west coast of South America to the east coast of Australia and north to Japan, Korea and China. The centre is hosted at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in New Zealand and is coordinated by a team from NIWA, GNSScience, and Land Information New Zealand (LINZ).
The objectives of this meeting included (1) the establishment of a Regional Mapping Committee with key regional expert in seafloor mapping; (2) Identify sources of bathymetric data; (3) Discuss data sharing and management; and coordinated upcoming mapping expeditions. Forty-six people from 13 countries within and around the Pacific Basin attended the meeting, including five Nippon Foundation–GEBCO Alumni. The first day of workshop consisted of presentations about the Seabed 2030 Project and its mission, and other regional initiatives that could benefit from and to the Project. Day two featured more technical-focused presentations e.g. on data portal and data sharing, the XPRIZE, and the potential that Satellite Derived Bathymetry could bring to the Project. Excellent discussions during breakout sessions resulted in a list of action points from setting up a strategy of communication, engaging with industry, developing specific outreach events, ensuring data security, the role of the Regional Mapping Committee, and the importance of understanding the value proposition for all stakeholders. The first action will be to formally establish a Regional Mapping Committee, which will need to reflect on these action points and propose solutions. All participants fully support Seabed 2030 and strongly encourage potential stakeholders to share information about available data, upcoming surveys, topical meetings, online resources etc., through the Regional Centre. The workshop was chaired by Geoffroy Lamarche (NIWA), Head of the South and West Pacific Centre(email@example.com).