World Oceans Day 2015: Ocean and Climate
World Ocean Day is celebrated each year to highlight the importance of the ocean in our daily lives. It is one of the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe. The Day provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the impacts of human actions on the ocean; and to mobilize and unite the world behind a project of sustainable global ocean management.
This year, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) will organize a full day dedicated to the ocean’s role in the climate system, ahead of the global climate change negotiations taking place during the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP21) at the end of 2015. The programme will include 4 scientific workshops, roundtables, a UNESCO Open Campus for youth and exhibitions, to bring together scientists, political decision-makers, civil society and youth and foster dialogue to identify actions and possible ocean sensitive strategies to mitigate climate change and its socioeconomic impacts.
The objectives of this day of events are to:
- Mobilize the international scientific community to work together on the ocean’s role in the climate system in order to better inform United Nations institutional representatives, Member States and decision-makers in the lead up to the Paris Climate Conference 2015,
- Create a political momentum for the Ocean and Climate topic that will lead to an engagement of United Nations’ institutions and member states for an enhanced consideration of the ocean within the climate change negotiations and the parallel process in the UNFCCC,
- Provide a forum for the international civil society, youth and scientists to dialogue on the role of the ocean in the climate system, in the lead up to the UNESCO scientific conference “Our common future under climate change” on 7-10 July 2015,
- Increase public awareness, with exhibitions on the Ocean & Climate links, and
- Promote the development of sustainable, ocean sensitive solutions via a better collaboration between science, policy and society to mitigate climate change.
The celebration of World Oceans Day will conclude with a High Level closing ceremony, during which the recommendations on ocean-sensitive mitigation and adaptation strategies identified during the scientific workshops and roundtables will be presented to the heads of states, members of government, UN representatives and decisions makers attending, including Christina Figueres, Executive Secretary of UNFCCC and His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco. A representative of the young participants of the UNESCO Open Campus will also convey their messages and expectations for the preservation of the Ocean and the Climate, in an effort to put the ocean at the centre of climate change negotiations taking place in December 2015 in Paris.