World Oceans Day – 8th June 2020
When you see water as far as your eyesight goes, such a water body is called Ocean. It is such a beautiful sight to see the giant waves one after the other splashing to the shore. The Ocean is the house for Marine population such as a variety of Fishes, sharks, Dolphins, starfish, octopus and many such animals that live underwater.
Oceans are the most significant source of Oxygen on earth. It is also the treasure house of precious stones like pearl and coral. We celebrate the existence of Oceans and their vast contribution to Nature on the 8th of June every year.
History of World Oceans Day
The concept of celebrating Oceans day was initially proposed by Canada’s International Centre for Ocean Development (ICOD) and the Ocean Institute of Canada at the Earth Summit (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development) in the year 1992.
United Nations recognized the celebration of World Oceans day only in the year 2008. The International Oceans day supports the implementation of worldwide sustainability and development of Oceans and fosters public interest in managing Ocean and its resources.
The world commission on Environment and Development (also known as Brundtland Commission) noted in the Brundtland Report in the year 1987 that there is a lack of loud voice for the Ocean sector in comparison to the other sectors. Hence the focus of the first World Oceans day was to shift the attention for Ocean and Coastal development from sideline to centre stage all over the world.
Between 2002 and 2008 the combined efforts by The Ocean Project and the World Ocean Network, several events we organized as a part of Ocean awareness. During this time they also launched www.worldoceansday.org to help promote events and activities around Ocean and Coastal maintenance and development. The other purpose of this launch was to get more and more involvement in the activities which help shift focus on Ocean development from sidelines to centre stage.
In the year 2004, The Ocean Project and The world Oceans Network filed a petition in The United Nations to recognize the 8th of June as World Oceans Day. In the December month of the year 2008, the UN General Assembly officially proclaimed that we celebrate World Oceans Day on the 8th of June annually.
Some of the essential developments post the declaration of World Oceans Day were:
The year 2010 reported over 300 events on World Oceans Day and a 26% increase in participation over the year 2009. A record of 45 countries took part in the activities organized as a part of WOD by The Ocean Project and World Oceans Network.
The United Nations launched the Annual amateur Oceanic Photo Competition on World Oceans Day in the year 2014.
Significance of World Oceans Day
This day brings the focus on maintenance and development of the Ocean and Coastal area. The ocean bed is the home for the marine population. Several activities take place underwater that cannot be seen from above sea level. Volcanoes erupt, tremors are noticed, huge whirlpools that sometimes eat away big ships etc. Ocean maintains its ecosystem organically with the help of marine vegetation.
Humans have been polluting these oceans in the name of vacation, scuba diving, exploring marine life so on and so forth. Tons of plastic gets dumped in the oceans, harmful chemicals that are a byproduct of the factories also goes into the oceans.
All this together are polluting the Oceans and very dangerous for the marine population. Plastic pieces have been found inside the sharks and big fishes. Turtles also die because off swallowing these plastic items that are dumped in the sea.
The significance of this day is to celebrate the Oceans, Bring awareness on the increasing pollution in the oceans, take measures to preserve the marine life underwater, keep the beaches clean and in turn be happy looking at the vast blue waters as far as one can see.
The purpose of this day is to achieve and maintain the Ocean equilibrium. By saving our Oceans, we save the biggest providers of Oxygen for life to sustain on earth.
World Oceans Day Celebrations
This day is celebrated in a variety of ways that include the launching of new campaigns, initiatives and awareness programs. Special events are organized at aquariums. Visits to the zoo are arranged. Aquatic and beach cleanups, attention on plastic-free vacationing at the beaches. Seafood events. Screening of documentaries showcasing the marine life and the Oceans, educational programs on conserving of Oceans and aquatic life.
Themes used by The United Nations for World Oceans Day are
- “Our Ocean, Our Responsibilities”
- “Our Oceans, Opportunities and Challenges”
- “Our Oceans greening our future.”
- “United Nations Convention on the law of the Sea @30.”
- “Oceans and People”
- “Oceans Sustainability Together let us ensure oceans can sustain us into the future.”
- “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet”
- “Our Oceans, Our Future”
- “Clean our Oceans”
- “Gender and Oceans”
When the United Nations, along with World Oceans Network and The Oceans project is taking so many initiatives as an effort to save our Ocean, we need to act responsibly and conserve the water bodies. Own up and clean up the beaches.
The ocean bed is a treasure that can provide us with life sustainable substance in ample quantity if used judicially. The Ocean is a paradise for seafood lovers. If we pollute the beaches with plastic and harmful chemicals, the same thing is consumed by marine life underwater in these beaches.
These chemicals get into our system thru Seafood and in return, become poisonous to us. Let us support the initiatives taken by these International bodies and save our Oceans for our better future and for the generations to come.