Celebrating our World's Shared Oceans
Every year, 8 June marks the official, United Nations-recognized celebration of World Oceans Day. This year, celebrations around the world draw attention to the importance of getting young people in our communities inspired to protect the ocean. This year kicks off a two-year theme: 'Youth: the Next Wave for Change'.
Surprisingly most people in the world may not know how central the oceans are to everyone on earth. The oceans are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe; the oceans are also a major source of food and medicines. The oceans regulate the Earth’s climate, provide jobs and recreation. The beauty, strength and fragility of the oceans inspires us.
'The importance of oceans is not matched by our knowledge.' reminded Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, in her message for World Oceans Day. ‘UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission has promoted marine science and research for fifty years, but the fact remains that oceans are still relatively unexplored.
Knowledge of oceans has long been driven by the need to access and exploit their resources. This must change. The challenge today is to use marine science to understand and protect oceans, in order to better manage their ecosystems and biodiversity for present and future generations.’
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.
UNESCO and its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) join hundreds of aquariums, zoos, museums, conservation organizations, and thousands of individuals around the world celebrating the day by participating in fun, inspirational, and educational events.
During this, the 50th Anniversary of the IOC’s founding at UNESCO, the IOC and UNESCO welcome the World Oceans Day as an opportunity to refresh our commitment to working toward healthy and sustainable oceans, a global trust for all nations to benefit and cherish.
Read about hundreds of events worldwide and maybe find an event near you:
- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for World Oceans Day
- Message from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of World Oceans Day (.pdf)
- Wendy Watson-Wright visit to Dalhouse Univsersity during Oceans Week
- Sandwatch: a volunteer network of youth to monitor and enhance their beaches
- Youth Visioning for Island Living
- World Oceans Day ORG
- World Ocean Network
- UN-Oceans World Oceans Day
- UN World Oceans Day
- Wear Blue, Tell Two on World Oceans Day
- World Oceans Day for kids: Celebrate with Dr Seuss