Happy World Oceans Day! In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly decided that, beginning in 2009, June 8 would be designated by the United Nations as “World Oceans Day” (resolution 63/111, paragraph 171).
According to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message this year, “World Oceans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of oceans to humankind’s sustainable development. It is also a time to recognize the many severe challenges related to oceans. These range from depleted fishery resources, the impacts of climate change and the deterioration of the marine environment to maritime safety and security, labour conditions for seafarers and the increasingly important issue of migration by sea.”
The world’s oceans—which account for about 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface—are facing diverse challenges and this dedicated day helps us remember the ecosystem functions they provide, and their importance to the global economy. In fact, it will get focused attention at next year’s Rio +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. For that reason, the theme of this year’s observance is “Our oceans: greening our future”.
We echo the Secretary-General’s directive: On this year’s World Oceans Day, I urge governments and all sectors of society to embrace our individual and collective responsibility to protect the marine environment and manage its resources in a sustainable manner for present and future generations.
With our combined and focused efforts to protect the ocean, we can surely preserve it for the future. Learn how you get involved here, http://worldoceansday.org