On the 8th June we celebrate World Oceans Day. A day to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean, and a chance to mobilise and unite the world on a project for the sustainable management of our oceans.
Why the ocean matters
The world’s oceans – their temperature, chemistry, currents and life – drive global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind. Our rainwater, drinking water, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food, and even the oxygen in the air we breathe, are all ultimately provided and regulated by the sea. Throughout history, oceans and seas have been vital conduits for trade and transportation.
Careful management of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable future. However, at the current time, there is a continuous deterioration of coastal waters owing to pollution and ocean acidification. This has an adversarial effect on the functioning of ecosystems and biodiversity. This is also negatively impacting small scale fisheries.
Marine protected areas need to be effectively managed and well-resourced. Regulations also need to be put in place to reduce overfishing, marine pollution and ocean acidification.
Source: United Nations
The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods
The ocean covers over 70% of the planet. It is our life source, supporting humanity’s sustenance and that of every other organism on earth.
The ocean produces at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen. It is home to most of earth’s biodiversity. And it is the main source of protein for more than a billion people around the world. The ocean is also key to our economy with an estimated 40 million people being employed by ocean-based industries by 2030.
Despite all of its power, diversity and benefits, the ocean is now in need of support.
With 90% of big fish populations depleted and 50% of coral reefs destroyed, we are taking more from the ocean than can be replenished. To protect and preserve the ocean and all it sustains, we must create a new balance. This must be rooted in true understanding of the ocean and how humanity relates to it. We must build a connection to the ocean that is inclusive, innovative, and informed by lessons from the past.
The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods is the theme for World Oceans Day 2021, as well as a declaration of intentions that launches a decade of challenges to get the Sustainable Development Goal 14, “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources”, by 2030.
Source: United Nations
The 30 by 30 initiative
In order to put these aims into action many organisations around the world are supporting and growing the ’30 by 30′ global movement. The aim is to protect at least 30% of our blue planet by 2030 as we strive for a healthy ocean and climate. A healthy ocean is a critical part of the solution to the climate crisis. By supporting ’30 by 30′, we can protect our planet’s life support systems – specifically the interconnected issues of ocean, climate, and biodiversity.
Read more about the global ’30 by 30′ movement at the info graphic below.
Source: World Ocean Day