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World Hydrography Day 2023: Date, Theme and History


World Hydrography Day 2023

On June 21, 2023, the Indian Naval Hydrographic Department celebrated World Hydrography Day (WHD). The National Hydrographic Office (NHO) in Dehradun organized a range of activities to commemorate WHD. These initiatives were designed to increase understanding and recognition of the vital role played by hydrography in ensuring secure navigation, fostering sustainable marine development, and supporting the Indian government’s Blue Economy objectives, which include safeguarding our oceans and coastal regions.

World Hydrography Day 2023 Theme

The theme for this year’s World Hydrography Day is “Hydrography – Underpinning the Digital Twin of the Ocean.” This theme aligns with the advancement of virtual representation and emphasizes the crucial role of hydrography in supporting the digital transformation of marine environments.

World Hydrography Day 2023 History

The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) approved and implemented World Hydrography Day as an annual celebration in 2005. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) officially recognized this day through Resolution A/RES/60/30 “Oceans and the law of the sea” on November 29, 2005. The resolution acknowledged the establishment of World Hydrography Day by the IHO to be observed every year on June 21st. The inaugural World Hydrography Day took place on June 21, 2006.

The International Hydrographic Bureau, established on June 21, 1921, served as an intergovernmental organization responsible for surveying and charting the world’s seas, oceans, and navigable waters. In 1970, it was renamed the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO). To commemorate the anniversary of the IHO’s establishment, June 21st was designated as World Hydrography Day.

What is Hydrography?

Hydrography is a scientific discipline that focuses on measuring and describing the physical characteristics of oceans, seas, coastal areas, lakes, and rivers. It also involves predicting changes in these features over time. The primary objective of hydrography is to ensure the safety of navigation and support various marine activities, such as economic development, security and defense, scientific research, and environmental protection. Some notable benefits of hydrography include facilitating resource exploitation, such as fishing and minerals, enabling effective environmental protection and management, establishing national marine spatial data infrastructures, enhancing maritime defense and security, conducting tsunami flood and inundation modeling, and advancing marine science.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • International Hydrographic Organization Established: 1921;
  • International Hydrographic Organization  Secretary-General:  Dr Mathias Jonas;
  • International Hydrographic Organization  Headquarters: Monaco.

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