On World Oceans Day, UNESCO reinforces the importance of preserving the largest ecosystem on the planet

The lungs of the plantet are at risk from climate change, pollution and destructive fishing. UNESCO prepares awareness actions for the date

The oceans cover two thirds of the Earth's surface and generate almost all the oxygen we breathe. They regulate the climate on the planet, provide food and various other essential services. More than 3 billion people depend on marine biodiversity for their livelihood. To remember the importance of this ecosystem and the urgency of joint preservation initiatives, 8 June marks World Oceans Day.

Human actions have put marine habitats at risk. The presence of plastics in the ocean, for example, has increased tenfold since 1980, leading to the death of more than one million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals each year.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), which is under the coordination of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO). It aims at encouraging international scientific collaboration, as well as the sustainable management of the oceans based on the integration of science and politics.


National Committee for the Decade of the Oceans

Today (8) UNESCO and partners officially launch the National Committee for the Decade of the Oceans, which brings together other international organizations, representatives of the government, civil society and academia. The goal is to develop a plan with clear guidelines on where we want to go in the next ten years in terms of protecting the oceans. In parallel, the website “O Brasil na Década” ("Brazil in the Decade") will be launched, which will highlight all the Committee's agendas. In the second semester, there will be seven workshops across the country, in a constructive and participatory process, with the aim at raising funds and institutional support for the implementation of the plan.

“With the theme "The science we need, for the future we want", the Decade will create opportunities to mobilize the scientific community, the political class and the whole of society for the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean, and enhance the scope of the SDG 14, related to the ocean and marine life", highlighted the Director and Representative of UNESCO in Brazil, Marlova Noleto.

In addition, UNESCO, IOC and the Federal University of São Paulo will launch the “Ocean Culture”. It is an educational kit, which will be available online and with free access, presenting in a didactic way for audiences of all ages the complex processes that happen in the oceans, the marine functions, and the importance of preservation.