Adelaide, 8 June 2016. While the wind whipped the surf up only a short distance away, UNIC Canberra celebrated World Oceans Day 2016 at two primary schools in Adelaide. At both the Kilkenny and Fulham North primary schools, the young students were quick to put up their hands and engage in a discussion about keeping the oceans free of litter and enjoyed watching a short UNEP video about marine litter.
Speaking to the children, the UNIC Director, told them of one of the ocean garage patches which was one and half times the size of the state they lived in, South Australia and how marine litter impacts marine animals and plants. When asked who had participated in a beach clean-up it was inspiring to see hundreds of hands up. The idea of using less plastic and trying not to use plastic bags were also voiced by many of children as was the importance of discarding litter properly. They also recognised the importance of reusing plastic and were amazed when the UNIC Director showed them the plastic water bottle he had taken around the world with him.
THE SECRETARY-GENERAL MESSAGE ON WORLD OCEANS DAY 8 June 2016
Healthy oceans are critical to sustaining life on Earth. They regulate the climate and provide a wide range of services, including natural resources, nutritious food and jobs that benefit billions of people.
In order to protect the health of our oceans, it is crucial for us to know their current state, and understand the impact that human activities and climate change are having on them. This past December, the General Assembly welcomed the First Global Integrated Marine Assessment, a truly global scientific evaluation of the state of the world’s oceans. We now know that although the oceans are seemingly endless, their capacity to withstand human activities is limited, particularly as they also cope with the threats posed by climate change. Urgent action on a global scale is needed to alleviate the world’s oceans from the many pressures they face, and to protect them from future dangers that may tip them beyond the limits of their carrying capacity.
Last year, in adopting the landmark 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Member States underscored that healthy and productive oceans will play a crucial role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Healthy oceans will also play an essential role in climate change adaptation and mitigation, as we strive to implement the Paris Agreement.
On this World Oceans Day, let us all commit to protecting our oceans and using their gifts peacefully, equitably and sustainably for generations to come. Healthy oceans are essential for a healthy planet and a healthy future for all.
In the aftermath of the Paris Agreement on climate change adopted in December 2015, UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission will highlight the crucial role of the ocean in controlling the planet’s climate during the celebration of World Oceans Day at the Organization’s Headquarters on 8 June (Room II).
Long overlooked in international negotiations about climate change, the role of the ocean was taken into account for the first time at the 2015 United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris. A high level panel discussion entitled Moving from Agreement to Action, will examine the follow up to the Paris Agreement and the place of the ocean in the framework of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda adopted by the United Nations in the autumn of 2015.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, will take part in the panel discussion, Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization and Lisa Emelia Svensson, Special Representative of Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs.
World Oceans Day helps you make a difference in your life, community, and world by taking action to protect our ocean—for present and future generations. Despite the huge challenges facing the world’s ocean, by working together we can achieve a healthy ocean that provides for the billions of humans, plants and animals which depend on it every day. Continue reading →
In observance of World Oceans Day, a senior United Nations official called on the international community to act in a concerted and coordinated manner to halt and reverse the damage to the planet’s open waters caused by human activity. “We are all currently very aware of the damage done to oceans and their ecosystems, these Continue reading →
On June 6 UNIC Canberra marked World Oceans Day at the Melbourne Aquarium with an event highlighting the success of a citizen science project to identify the impact of marine debris. Organized by Earthwatch Australia and the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) the event Continue reading →