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 the earth’s biodiversity, and is the main source of protein for more than a billion people around the world. Not to mention, the ocean is key to our economy with an estimated 40 million people to be employed by ocean-based industries by 2030.
Even with all its 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, rooted in a 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 United Nations has designated June 08 as World Oceans Day. World Oceans Day is a day for humanity to celebrate the ocean. This year’s theme is “The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods.” The theme also signals 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.
A DECADE OF LEARNING AND RECOVERY
On December 05, 2017, the United Nations proclaimed a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, to be held from 2021 to 2030. This Decade will provide a common framework to ensure that ocean science can fully support countries’ actions to sustainably manage the oceans and more particularly, to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Activities conducted during this decade will further boost those planned for the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration, which will also occur from 2021 to 2030.
While the ocean means different things to all of us – whether cultural or religious, economic or recreational- we need to take care of our ocean as much as other ecosystems. Make a start by switching from single-use plastics to reusable items, and by ensuring that your waste is disposed of in the right way.
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