World Oceans Day
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World Oceans Day takes place every 8 June. The concept was originally proposed in 1992 by Canada's International Centre for Ocean Development (ICOD) and the Ocean Institute of Canada (OIC) at the Earth Summit – UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Brundtland Commission (also known as the World Commission on Environment and Development), provided the inspiration for a global oceans day. The 1987 Brundtland Report noted that the ocean sector lacked a strong voice compared to other sectors. At the first World Oceans Day in 1992, the objectives were to move the oceans from the sidelines to the center of the intergovernmental and NGO discussions and policy and to strengthen the voice of ocean and coastal constituencies worldwide.
|World Oceans Day|
A sunset in the White Sea
|Observed by||All UN member states|
Since 2002, there has been a concerted effort to promote World Oceans Day as a unique opportunity to celebrate the ocean, our connections, and make a real difference. The Ocean Project, working in partnership with leading organizations from all sectors, including the World Ocean Network, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and many others in its network of 2,000 organizations, has been promoting World Oceans Day since 2002 and together with World Ocean Network led a four-year global petition movement to secure official UN recognition. Each year there are more organizations world-wide who mark World Oceans Day. Some more on the history can be found here.
In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution officially recognizing 8 June to be "World Oceans Day", effective 2009, through Resolution 63/111 (paragraph 171). As such, the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs promotes the celebration of this International Day for the United Nations.
World Oceans Day events are celebrated on 8 June, the closest weekend, the week, and the month of June. The day is marked in a variety of ways, including launching new campaigns and initiatives, special events at aquariums and zoos, outdoor explorations, aquatic and beach cleanups, educational and conservation action programs, art contests, film festivals, and sustainable seafood events. Youth have been playing an increasingly important role since 2015. The World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council has been helping lead conservation awareness and action efforts globally since 2016.
World Oceans Day is an annual observation to honor, help protect, and conserve the world's oceans. The ocean provides us with many resources and services including oxygen, climate regulation, food sources, medicine, and more. World Oceans Day also provides an opportunity to take personal and community action to conserve the ocean and its resources.
The theme selected by the United Nations for this United Nations International Day (2011) is "Our Oceans: greening our future"
The theme selected by the United Nations for this United Nations International Day (2012) is "UNCLOS @ 30"
The theme selected by the United Nations for this United Nations International Day (2013) is "Oceans & People"
The theme selected by the United Nations for this United Nations International Day (2014) is "Ocean Sustainability: Together let's ensure oceans can sustain us into the future"
The theme selected by the United Nations for this United Nations International Day (2015) is "Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet"
The theme selected by the United Nations for this United Nations International Day (2016) is "Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet"
The theme selected by the United Nations for this United Nations International Day (2017) is "Our Oceans, Our Future"
The theme selected by the United Nations for this United Nations International Day (2018) is "Clean our Ocean!"
The theme selected by the United Nations for this United Nations International Day (2019) is "Gender and Oceans"
The theme selected by the United Nations for this United Nations International Day is "Our Oceans: Opportunities and Challenges"
The Ocean Project and World Ocean Network recorded over 300 events for WOD 2010, a 26% increase over 2009. Participation in the United States increased by 32% (with participation in 37 states, as compared to 25 states the previous year). 45 countries participated in World Oceans Day 2010, including Bangladesh, Belgium, French Polynesia, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Malta, Malaysia, Venezuela, and Portugal.
2009 (first recognized by the UN)Edit
On the first United Nations International Day for World Oceans Day, the United Nations selected the theme "Our Oceans, Our Responsibilities" and the Secretary-General of the United Nations gave the following message:
The first observance of World Oceans Day allows us to highlight the many ways in which oceans contribute to society. It is also an opportunity to recognize the considerable challenges we face in maintaining their capacity to regulate the global climate, supply essential ecosystem services and provide sustainable livelihoods and safe recreation.
Indeed, human activities are taking a terrible toll on the world's oceans and seas. Vulnerable marine ecosystems, such as corals, and important fisheries are being damaged by over-exploitation, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, destructive fishing practices, invasive alien species and marine pollution, especially from land-based sources. Increased sea temperatures, sea-level rise and ocean acidification caused by climate change pose a further threat to marine life, coastal and island communities and national economies.
The Secretary-General went on to mention the effects of criminal activity on the seas and the threat this poses to the security of the ocean. He continued by discussing the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the importance of implementing this convention. The Secretary-General concluded with this statement:
The theme of World Oceans Day, "Our oceans, our responsibility", emphasizes our individual and collective duty to protect the marine environment and carefully manage its resources. Safe, healthy and productive seas and oceans are integral to human well-being, economic security and sustainable development.
Annual participation increased to over 100 events.
In the early years of coordinated efforts by The Ocean Project, with World Ocean Network, events numbered in the dozens. During this time, www.WorldOceansDay.org launched, to help promote the event and generate more involvement through dissemination of resources, ideas, and tools free for everyone to use to celebrate World Oceans Day. In 2004, The Ocean Project and World Ocean Network launched a petition to the United Nations to officially recognize 8 June as World Oceans Day (UN General Assembly passed resolution in December 2008 officially recognizing the Day).
- Swan, Judith. "About". United Nations. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
- "A/RES/63/111: Oceans and the law of the sea" (PDF). United Nations. 9 September 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
- United Nations. "United Nations World Oceans Day Oceanic Photo Competition". United Nations World Oceans Day Oceanic Photo Competition 2014–2017. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
- United Nations. "United Nations World Oceans Day Oceanic Photo Competition". United Nations World Oceans Day Oceanic Photo Competition 2018+. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
- "PAST EVENTS". www.un.org. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
- "World Oceans Day – 8 June". www.un.org. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
- "HOME". www.un.org. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
- "Home | World Oceans Day Online Portal". www.unworldoceansday.org. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
- "World Oceans Day". www.un.org. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
- "Message of the Secretary-General" (PDF). Retrieved 4 March 2019.
- Official United Nations World Oceans Day Website
- Official United Nations World Oceans Day Website (2009–2017)
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