World Oceans Day: 8 June 2018

Date: 
Fri 08/06/18
Location: 
Global

Celebrated each year on 8 June since 2009, World Oceans Day is an opportunity to raise global awareness of the challenges faced by the international community in connection with the oceans.

The lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe, the oceans are also a major source of food and medicines and a critical part of the biosphere. The concept of a 'World Oceans Day' was first proposed in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro as a way to celebrate our world’s shared ocean and our personal connection to the sea, as well as to raise awareness about the crucial role the ocean plays in our lives and the important ways people can help protect it.

The UN General Assembly recognized the important contribution of sustainable development and management of the resources and uses of the oceans and seas to the achievement of international development goals, including those contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, and designated 8 June as World Oceans Day.

Last year, World Oceans Day celebrations were part of a week-long conference in New York at UNHQ (5-9 June). The Ocean Conference, which was  kick-started by World Environment Day, followed the theme "our oceans, our future: partnering for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14".

The Ocean Conference called for the engagement of all relevant stakeholders, bringing together Governments, the United Nations system, other intergovernmental organizations, academic institutions, the scientific community, the private sector, philanthropic organizations, civil society, mayors, children, youth and others who will utilize this momentum to galvanize action-oriented partnerships at all levels – local, national and global - that provide lasting and long term solutions. Be sure to register your voluntary commitments to #SaveOurOcean.

Action focus for 2018: preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean

Plastic pollution is causing tremendous harm to our marine resources. For example:

  • 80% of all pollution in the ocean comes from people on land.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic per year ends up in the ocean, wreaking havoc on wildlife, fisheries and tourism.
  • Plastic pollution costs the lives of 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals per year.
  • Fish eat plastic, and we eat the fish.
  • Plastic causes $8 billion in damage to marine ecosystems each year.

Change starts with you

There are many things we can do as individuals to reduce our plastic consumption.

Remember: Use less plastic and recycle the plastic you must use.

Use these hashtags in social media to spread the word to help clean up our ocean: #WorldOceansDay, #SaveOurOcean.