World Oceans Day 2017: Our Oceans, Our Future
World Oceans Day – which is observed on 8 June every year – is a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future.
The Day has been coordinated and promoted internationally by The Ocean Project since 2002 and has been officially recognised by the United Nations since 2008.
This year’s theme is “Our Oceans, Our Future,” and will focus on the prevention of plastic ocean pollution.
Organisations and individuals have organised hundreds of events in over 100 countries across the globe to raise awareness and take action to protect the world’s oceans.
Bill Mott, Executive Director of The Ocean Project, said: “World Oceans Day provides a unique opportunity to raise the profile of the ocean and rally the world. Together, with hundreds of organisations and millions of people, we are making a real difference for our world’s ocean by collectively raising awareness and promoting action in fun and positive ways.”
This year, the newly-formed World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council – which comprises of 11 young people aged between 14 and 22 from 11 diverse nations – has played a key role in helping shape the development of this year’s celebrations.
Bill Mott said: “With nearly half of the world’s population under age 25, it is imperative to empower young people to step up as leaders at an early age, and engage them in a solutions-oriented approach to ocean conservation.”
He went on to say: “We believe that youth are the key to success and, for this reason, we are making youth engagement our top priority for growing the reach and impact of World Oceans Day on June 8 and year-round.”
The World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council works in partnership with UN Environment’s Clean Seas Campaign which was launched in February this year.
To date, more than 20 countries have come forward to support the #CleanSeas campaign, which calls on governments, industry and citizens to put an end to the more than 8 million tonnes of plastics that enter oceans each year.
Around 80 per cent of all litter in our oceans is made of plastic – which has devastating effects on wildlife, fisheries and tourism; costing an estimated $8 billion in damage to marine ecosystems.
Specifically, the campaign seeks to end the excessive, wasteful usage of single-use plastic and eliminate microplastics in cosmetics, both major sources of marine litter, by the year 2022.
The World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council has worked with the Clean Seas Campaign to develop a simple way for the public to take action and express their concern about plastic waste in our oceans this World Oceans Day.
Through the website www.keepoceans.blue, people can make a commitment to reduce their use of disposable plastics and encourage others to do the same through sharing on social media using #CleanSeas and #WorldOceansDay.
For more information on how to get involved visit: www.worldoceansday.org.