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Seabed 2030 = IOCARIBE MACH

MACHC-IOCARIBE Seabed 2030 Project


This Project is a collaboration between the IOC of UNESCO Sub-Commission for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions (IOCARIBE) and the IHO Meso American –Caribbean Sea Hydrographic Commission (MACHC).  The IOCARIBE and MACHC are sister regional organizations who have overlapping Member State membership. They produced the MACHC-IOCARIBE Seabed 2030 Strategy 2021-2030 that was approved by both organizations, along with an annual Work Plan that they are jointly implementing with their members, international, regional, non-governmental, academic and private sector partners. Work plan results are reviewed and adjusted on an annual basis at their respective meetings. Mexico provides the Regional Seabed2030/Crowdsourced Bathymetry Coordinator who helps advance the Work Plan activities with participating partners.


The priority Project outcome is to create an accurate, observation-based bathymetric map of the Tropical Americas and Caribbean Region through multi-sector partnerships and collaboration.  This map is essential for the sustainable use of critical ocean resources and to inform and improve forecast capabilities, disaster risk reduction and response, environmental management and scientific investigation activities.  A diverse region that has rich biodiversity and marine resources, many economies are dependent on coastal and marine tourism.  The region is also extremely vulnerable to climate change and natural hazards.  Extreme weather events are common in the region with nine Category 3 hurricanes and above occurring in 2019-2020.   Currently 23% of the region is mapped according to the GEBCO 2021 Grid, an increase of 3% since 2020 when the IOCARIBE and the MACHC initiated this joint Project.


Creating this bathymetric map of the region is essential to help achieve the UN Goal (SDG) 14 – Life Below Water and the endorsed Nippon Foundation GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project.  Completion of this map was also identified as a priority during the UN Decade of Ocean Science Regional Workshop for the Western Tropical Atlantic hosted by the Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM) and co-organized by the Government of Mexico with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) in April 2020, and countries at the Regional Kick-off Conference for the Tropical Americas and The Caribbean United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development in December 2021 highlighted the importance of this information for a risk-informed sustainable development.


An application to have this regional SB2030 Project endorsed as a UN Decade action was submitted on January 21, 2022 by the MACHC Seabed2030 Coordinator Ms. Cecilia Cortina Guzman:


Key sources of information for this project


1. Information on the webinars, work plan, strategy, reports, contact points, etc. on the MACHC website


2. An interactive web application on the Seabed 2030 section on the MACHC Initiative website shows how much of the region has been surveyed and where the known gaps are. This interface presents several informational layers to promote collaboration and cooperation toward the goals of Seabed 2030. Layers are publicly available and managed by many partners. Authoritative layers are used whenever available and include:


  • GEBCO 2020 Map & Coverage
  • Known Data Coverage Layers
  • Public Data (ssuch as singlebeam and multibeam data at IHO DCDB)
  • Non-public Existing Data
  • Planned Surveys (Member State, Industry and others)


Map of available and private data for the MACHC region: