World Oceans Day
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 (DOALOS) is actively coordinating different activities of the World Oceans Day.
UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) coordinates in partnership with DOALOS the official United Nations World Oceans Day Portal, which is 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.
World Oceans Day 2020
As the challenges to the ocean continue to grow, so does the need for novel solutions and the people driving them.
To that end, the theme of UN World Oceans Day 2020 is Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean. Innovation - relating to the introduction of new methods, ideas, or products - is a dynamic term, and one that is fundamentally filled with hope.
This year's theme is especially relevant in the lead-up to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which will run from 2021 to 2030. The Decade will strengthen international cooperation to develop the scientific research and innovative technologies that can connect ocean science with the needs of society.
MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL
"As we enter the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), it is indeed our responsibility to seize this moment. We must seize this moment, firstly, to learn more about these depths, which often remain largely unknown to us, and still hold many secrets that only we can reveal... secondly, to give free rein to imagination and innovation, which we need in order to confront this worrying situation. This is why we have made innovation the theme of the celebrations of this international day. We must also seize this moment to sound the alarm, perhaps more widely than we have done so far, because no technical solution can replace a widespread, personal understanding of the threats to the oceans, their mysteries and their beauty."
— Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of World Oceans Day