World Oceans Day

8 June

By its resolution 63/111 of 5 December 2008, the UN General Assembly designated 8 June as World Oceans Day.

The concept of a 'World Oceans Day' was first proposed in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro as a way to celebrate our world’s shared ocean and our personal connection to the sea, as well as to raise awareness about the crucial role the ocean plays in our lives and the important ways people can help protect it.

To raise awareness about the role the United Nations and international law can play in the sustainable development and use of the oceans and their living and non-living resources, the UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea is actively coordinating different activities of he World Oceans Day.

UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) sponsors the World Ocean Network, which has since 2002 been instrumental in building support for ocean awareness events on 8 June.

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. 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 medicines 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.

Plastic pollution is causing tremendous harm to our marine resources. For example:

  • 80% of all pollution in the ocean comes from people on land.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic per year ends up in the ocean, wreaking havoc on wildlife, fisheries and tourism.
  • Plastic pollution costs the lives of 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals per year.
  • Plastic causes $8 billion in damage to marine ecosystems each year.

Remember : Fish eat plastic, and we eat the fish!

 

MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL

"No country alone is capable of measuring changes in the ocean, nor of cleaning and protecting it. Through international cooperation, technology transfer and knowledge sharing, we can succeed in developing environmentally friendly policies that promote sustainable growth based on the ocean. On this World Oceans Day, UNESCO invites Member States, the scientific community, civil society and the private sector to join forces, following the maxim of the Japanese writer Ryūnosuke Akutagawa: “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.”"

—  Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of World Oceans Day

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