World Oceans Day is celebrated on the 8th June of each year. We celebrate World Oceans Day to remind everyone of the major role the oceans have in everyday life. They are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe. It is a day to celebrate together the beauty, the wealth and the promise of the ocean.
Our ocean is our future
When we think of public health risks, we may not think of the ocean. Increasingly, however, the health of the ocean is intimately tied to our health. Some may be surprised to read that organisms discovered at extreme depths are used to speed up the detection of COVID-19, and probably even more to learn that, it is the environment that could give a solution to humankind.
This is one of the multiple reasons why we should celebrate World Oceans Day: to remind everyone of the major role the oceans have in everyday life. They are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe. The purpose of the Day is to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean, and mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world’s oceans. They are a major source of food and medicine and a critical part of the biosphere. In the end, it is a day to celebrate together the beauty, the wealth and the promise of the ocean.
UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development
On 5 December 2017, the United Nations declared that a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development would be held from 2021 to 2030. This Decade will provide a common framework to ensure that ocean science can fully support countries to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Decade will provide a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to create a new foundation, across the science-policy interface, to strengthen the management of our oceans and coasts for the benefit of humanity.
The Decade will strengthen the international cooperation needed to develop the scientific research and innovative technologies that can connect ocean science with the needs of society. It will also contribute to the UN processes protecting the ocean and its resources, such as the Aichi Biodiversity targets, the SAMOA Pathway, the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
The Decade will require the engagement of many different stakeholders to create new ideas, solutions, partnerships and applications, these include: scientists, governments, academics, policy makers, business, industry and civil society.
The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO has now been tasked by the UN General Assembly to work with all interested stakeholders to design a Decade of ocean science that will help us to deliver the ocean we need for the future we want.
The Decade will support the entire 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Decade proposal was first registered as a voluntary commitment to the 2017 UN Ocean Conference by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.
What is the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC)?
The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO is the United Nations body responsible for supporting global ocean science and services. This organisation enables its 149 Member States to work together to protect the health of our shared ocean by coordinating programmes in ocean observations, hazard mitigation, tsunami warnings and marine spatial planning.
The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission also provides a focus for other UN organizations and agencies with regard to ocean science, observations and data exchange. A primary focus of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission is to enable its Member States to build the scientific and institutional capacity needed to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14 to conserve and sustainably manage ocean and marine resources by 2030.
“More than ever protecting the Ocean requires us to think globally and collectively. We must join our forces, share our knowledge and embrace the cause of the Ocean to shape a future where humankind and seas benefit from each other. It’s our responsibility to give new generations a chance to live in a sustainable world.” HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco
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