Excerpts; from UN World Oceans’ Day
Many countries have celebrated World Oceans Day following the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, which was held in Rio de Janerio in 1992. Thus, World Oceans Day, which had been unofficially celebrated every June 8 since its original proposal in 1992 by Canada, was officially recognized by the United Nations sixteen years later.
In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly decided that, as from 2009, 8 of June would be designated by the United Nations as “World Oceans Day” (resolution 63/111, paragraph 171).
“The oceans are essential to food security and the health and survival of all life, power our climate and are a critical part of the biosphere. The official designation of World Oceans Day is an opportunity to raise global awareness of the current challenges faced by the international community in connection with the oceans.” UN.
Since then it has been coordinated internationally by The Ocean Project and the World Ocean Network with greater success and global participation each year.
On 8 June 2011, the Empire State Building will be lit white, blue and purple in celebration of World Oceans Day.
This year the general theme is: World Oceans Day (8 June 2011): “Our oceans: greening our future”
However, as stated by World’s Oceans Day officials:
“Starting this year we are launching a two-year theme for WOD 2011 and WOD 2012.
The World Oceans Day 2011 & 2012 second theme is Youth: the Next Wave for Change. World Ocean Day – The Ocean Project.
The aim is to challenge participants to view ocean protection as a way of life, with a special emphasis around World Oceans Day each year. This focus on youth is based on market research by The Ocean Project and others which clearly shows that youth are the most promising members of the public to reach out to if you want to effect lasting change. Young people are the most knowledgeable and motivated segment of the population when it comes to the environment and its protection. Youth generally have the free time, familiarity with current issues, and the motivation to go out of their way to take environmental action.”
Panels and segment to be discussed will be:
– Oceans and the environment: Mrs. Maria Teresa Mesquita Pessôa, Permanent Mission of Brazil to the United Nations
– Oceans and the social impact: Ms. Chandrika Sharma, International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF)
– Economic aspects of the oceans: Dr. Rashid Sumaila, University of British Columbia, Canada
– Oceans and youth: Mr. William Mott, The Ocean Project