World Oceans Day is to celebrate and honour the oceans that connect us all together, and to remind the role of oceans in everyday life. This idea was first proposed in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Jeneiro, Brazil, and was officially implemented by the ‘United Nations’ in 2008.
The post is lengthy, around 900 words.
Why do we need to concern about the oceans when we do no direct harms to it?
Climate and weather of the landmasses are strongly influenced by oceanic circulation patterns. Drastic changes can heavily affect agriculture, animal life, followed by human lifestyle patterns to a greater extent if left unnoticed.
For years now, the immunity of oceans is inordinately compromised.
Global Warming – We’ve all come across this term. This has more to do with oceans than with the ground. This leads to coastline changes and sea-level rise making billions of lives on low-lying areas heavily vulnerable. Eventually, ocean acidification and ocean warming get into the scene.
This in turn entails coral bleaching. Not only humans, coral reefs are also facing a pandemic.
Half of the world’s reefs are decimated. Just imagine the direct impact this would yield on marine organisms, when one out of four marine species are supported by reefs.
We are working more towards a clean greener planet. Then, why care about the ocean blues? The oceans, due to their vastness, have inclined to suit the needs of serving as a dump-yard of human waste.
The poor aquatic organisms ingest these plastic, mistaken for food. Around one million (10 lakh) seabirds and 100-thousand (1 lakh) sea mammals are killed every year; plastic being the cause.
What could be done to save oceans?
➟ Efficient techniques for waste management.
➟ Reclaim plastic and help giving oceans a new life.
➟ Sustainable fishing practices.
➟ Reduction of fossil fuel emissions.
These practices should be followed at individual level and strictly at societal level by implementing effective policy measures.
What’s the theme for 2020, and why is it so relevant?
As the challenges to the ocean continue to grow, so does the need for novel solutions and the people driving them.
In actual words from the UN,
This year’s theme is especially relevant in the lead-up to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which will run from 2021 to 2030. The Decade will strengthen international cooperation to develop the scientific research and innovative technologies that can connect ocean science with the needs of society.
There’s something called Conservation Action Focus (CAF). It is a framework to clearly define conservation targets, and implement focused strategies to achieve them.
For 2020, World Oceans Day is growing the global movement to call on world leaders to protect 30% of our blue planet by 2030. This critical need is called 30 x 30. Many organizations have joined hands on this important initiative.
This year, the global citizens have an opportunity to urge governments worldwide to agree to 30 x 30 initiative and preserve intact ecosystems and wilderness at the ‘Convention on Biodiversity COP-15 Summit’ in October 2020. By signing this petition, you are telling world leaders that you want urgent action too!
How do people celebrate this day?
Usually, the day will be marked with beach clean-ups, artwork exhibits on zoos and aquariums, outdoor explorations, dressing up collectively in blue to spread awareness, educational programmes and sustainable sea food events.
With the toll of COVID-19, events have shifted and consumed space online.
Here is one such event I came across. Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach is hosting a live-stream virtual event to learn about climate change, ocean pollution and other ocean issues through films, shows and exhibits. No RSVP or tickets are required to tune into this.
People are also encouraged to show their love for oceans through their artistic skills or making a collage on their favourite ocean animal, habitat or conservation action. The message can be extended via social media to grow the collective impact, using the hashtags #WorldOceansDay, #ProtectOurHome and #AOPWorldOceanDay.
“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected on the deep.”
– William James
Consider this day as a festival to celebrate our oceanic connection. Even a little contribution certainly helps. Each of us can make a difference. Convey this information to people you know. Create awareness and educate peers as much as possible. Not just in words, but also maintain high key to reflect them in your deeds.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
― Margaret Mead
Oceans have gifted me beautiful memories both in childhood and adulthood.
What do oceans mean to you? Do you like enjoying the voice and waves of seas? Share your thoughts.