Aptly nicknamed the Blue Planet, Earth is approximately 71% water of which 96.5% are the Earth’s oceans. The ocean is the principal component of Earth’s hydrosphere, and therefore integral to life on Earth. Acting as a huge heat reservoir, the ocean influences climate and weather patterns, the carbon cycle, and the water cycle. Earth is separated into five oceans, of which the Pacific is the largest, the Atlantic, the Indian, the Southern or the Antarctic and the Arctic Ocean which is the smallest.
Oceans are essential to food security and the health and survival of all life. They power our climate and are a critical part of the biosphere and support humanity’s sustenance. It is the life source of every other organism on earth producing at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen, is home to most of the earth’s biodiversity, and is the main source of protein for more than a billion people around the world. Not to mention, the ocean is key to our economy with an estimated 40 million people being employed by ocean-based industries by 2030.
With 90% of big fish populations depleted, and 50% of coral reefs destroyed, we are taking more from the ocean than can be replenished. To protect and preserve the ocean and all it sustains, we must create a new balance, rooted in the true understanding of the ocean and how humanity relates to it. We must build a connection to the ocean that is inclusive, innovative, and informed by lessons from the past.
Even though all its benefits, the ocean is now in need of support. World Oceans Day is an opportunity to raise global awareness of the current challenges faced by the international community in connection with the oceans. This day reminds everyone of the major role that the oceans have in everyday life.
The purpose of the Day is to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean, and mobilise and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world’s oceans. The concept for World Oceans Day was originally proposed in 1992 by Canada’s International Centre for Ocean Development (ICOD) and the Ocean Institute of Canada (OIC) at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and in December 2008, the UN General Assembly declared June 08 officially as World Oceans Day.
The 2022 theme is Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean. The ocean connects, sustains, and supports us all. Yet its health is at a tipping point and so is the well-being of all that depends on it. As the past years have shown us, we need to work together to create a new balance with the ocean that no longer depletes its bounty but instead restores its vibrancy and brings it new life.
On World Ocean Day, decide to take action for our shared blue planet, with one ocean and one climate, that connects us all to create a better future. By working together, we can — and will — protect and restore our shared ocean and climate.