Oceans cover 71 per cent of the Earth’s surface, and they hold 97 per cent of our planet’s water. World Oceans Day, celebrated across the world on June 8, is an annual event designed to encourage people to celebrate the oceans and take steps to protect ocean health.
With the ongoing issues related to water bodies, such as plastic waste, decreasing level of water, impurities in water and others, it is the utmost necessity to preserve and conserve our oceans. They are the lungs of our planet and provide most of the oxygen we breathe. Being a major source of food and medicines, oceans are needed to be preserved for their beauty and wealth.
World Oceans Day 2020 theme
The theme of World Oceans Day 2020 is “Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean”. The oceans are facing unprecedented pressures from factors ranging from pollution to climate change. And these pressures are projected to only rise in the future. The need to balance the preservation of a healthy ocean and ever-increasing economic activities requires a fresh approach and rethinking in many areas.
Need for Sustainable Oceans
More than half the people on Earth live within 193 kilometres of the ocean, but even those who live nowhere near the sea are dependent on the massive saltwater ecosystem that covers nearly three-fourths of our planet. Scientists warn that the sea is changing rapidly and that our many uses of its bounty must be managed far more sustainably.
About World Oceans Day
Canada first proposed the concept for World Oceans Day in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Then, in 2004, the Ocean Project and World Ocean Network launched a four-year petition to the United Nations to officially recognise 8 June as World Oceans Day. Fours years later, in December 2008, a United Nations resolution designated the day for the oceans.
Importance of Oceans
Oceans cover 71 per cent of the Earth’s surface and hold 97 per cent of the planet’s water. They help feed the world and provide most of the oxygen.
Oceans also play a key role in regulating the weather and climate. Water evaporating from the oceans falls inland as rain, which we then use as drinking water and for growing crops. A variety of life-saving medicinal compounds, including anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer drugs have been discovered in the oceans. The oceans also provide us with abundant opportunities for recreation and inspiration. The ocean is vital to the world’s economy, with more than 90% of trade using sea routes and as a source of jobs for millions of people. The ocean is also the stage for a growing range of new ocean-related economic activities and constant innovations. The sea’s biodiversity is astounding. Scientists have identified some 200,000 marine species but suspect that millions more actually call the oceans home.
Threat to Oceans
Threats to oceans include pollution, overfishing, invasive species, and rising ocean acidity due to the extensive use of fossil fuels. And we’ve all heard of the threat to the ocean from plastic waste. The problems are daunting, and this day is marked to remind global citizens that we should do our part in protecting our oceans with all that it and the rest of nature have given us.
Past themes of World Oceans Day
2009: Our Oceans, Our Responsibilities
2010: Our Oceans: Opportunities and Challenges
2011: Our Oceans: greening our future
2012: UNCLOS @ 30
2013: Oceans & People
2014: Ocean Sustainability: Together let’s ensure oceans can sustain us into the future
2015: Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet
2016: Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet
2017: Our Oceans, Our Future
2018: Clean our Ocean
2019: Gender and Oceans
News Source: Business Standard