World Oceans Day is a global event that is observed annually on the 8th of June for the conservation and protection of the oceans of the world. Each year, the World Ocean day event is celebrated on June 8th, the nearest weekend, the week and the month of June. The global oceans day is celebrated in different ways such as beach and aquatic cleanups, launching of new initiatives and campaigns, holding sustainable seafood events, outdoor exploration, conservation and educational action programs, special events at zoos and aquariums, film festivals, and art concerts. Since 2015, the youth have been playing an increasingly significant role leading to the establishment of a World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council in 2016. The recent World Oceans Day coincided with the 2017 United Nations Ocean Conference.
History of World Oceans Day
World Oceans Day has been unofficially celebrated since 1992 when the idea was first proposed at the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, by the Ocean Institute of Canada (OIC) and Canada’s International Centre for Ocean Development (ICOD). The inspiration for World Oceans Day came from the World Commission on Environment and Developments, also known as the Brundtland Commission. According to a 1987 report by the commission, the ocean sector in comparison to other sectors lacked a strong voice. During the first World Oceans Day in 1992, the main aim was to make the oceans the focal issue of NGOs, intergovernmental discussions, and policy thus moving it from the sidelines, as well as fortify the voice of coastal constituencies and oceans all over the world. Partnering with the Association for Zoos and Aquariums and World Ocean Network as well as other parties in its network which comprises of about 2,000 organizations, the Ocean Project has been able to promote the World Oceans Day as of 2002. The project also spearheaded a worldwide petition movement that lasted three years to get official recognition from the UN. The UN officially acknowledged the World Oceans Day in late 2008.
Reasons for Celebrating World Oceans Day
World Oceans Day is an annual observation that was put in place to help conserve, protect, and pay tribute to the oceans of the world. Since time immemorial the ocean provided humankind with numerous services and resources including food sources, navigation, climate regulation, oxygen, and medicine, as well as a source of recreational activities such as swimming and diving among many others. The oceans are also economically significant to countries that majorly rely on fishing, tourism, and other marine resources as a source of income, and they also serve as the backbone of international trade. Unfortunately, the world’s oceans are threatened by human pressures and aquaculture practices including unregulated fishing, marine pollution, overexploitation, and habitat destruction, among others. World Oceans Day gives people a chance to take either community or personal action with the aim of conserving the ocean and all its resources.
The Next World Oceans Day
The World Oceans Day is celebrated in hopes of collaborating for a brighter and better future. The theme for the 2017 World Oceans Day was ‘Our Oceans Our Future’ since our oceans are the foundations of life covering almost two-thirds of the Earth’s surface. The next World Oceans Day will be celebrated on Friday, June 8th, 2018. The conservation action focus for the 2018 event is ‘encouraging solutions to plastic pollution and preventing marine litter for a healthier ocean and a better future.'