World Ocean Day is celebrated on 8th June every year, coordinated and promoted internationally by The Ocean Project since 2002. It also calls for ocean conservation action throughout the year.
This article will briefly discuss World Ocean Day, its history and its significance in the context of the IAS Exam.
This topic is useful for the Environment section (GS Paper III) of the UPSC Syllabus.
The candidates can read more relevant information for their upcoming exams from the links provided below:
|UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)||Global Environment Facility|
|United Nations Environment Programme||United Nation Ocean Conference|
|Marine Protected Areas in India||Difference between Sea and Ocean|
World Ocean Day, 2021
- The United Nations World Ocean Day, 2021 is the second fully virtually organised and celebrated event that will highlight the theme of The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods.
- This year’s theme is especially relevant in the lead-up to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which will run from 2021 to 2030.
- Also, this decade will focus on strengthening international cooperation to develop scientific research and innovative technologies that can connect ocean science with the needs of society.
- World Ocean Day, 2021 is raising awareness and support for the global movement to protect at least 30% of the world’s lands, waters, and oceans by 2030 (30×30).
- Safeguarding at least 30% through a network of highly protected areas can help ensure a healthy ocean and climate.
Theme of World Ocean Day
The theme of World Ocean Day for the year 2021 and for the past few years have been tabled below:
|Theme of World Ocean Day|
|2021||The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods|
|2020||Innovation For A Sustainable Ocean|
|2019||Gender and the Ocean|
|2018||Clean Our Ocean|
History of World Ocean Day
- The government of Canada suggested the idea of World Oceans Day at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
- In 2002, The Ocean Project started to coordinate World Ocean Day globally, working in collaboration with other networks and organisations, starting ongoing year-round outreach to all sectors to grow this global event, launching a central organising website for event organisers and participants, and developing World Oceans Day social media platforms.
- Encouraged by the tens of thousands of signatures on a public petition circulated by The Ocean Project and the World Ocean Network, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution in 2008 officially recognising June 8th as the day of celebration for our ocean.
- Starting in 2009, World Ocean Day has also been officially recognised by the United Nations, and it has been growing ever since, from 100 events in 2008 to over a thousand events in more than 120 countries ten years later.
- The day is celebrated in a variety of ways, including special events at aquariums and zoos, beach and river clean-ups, school activities, conservation programmes, art contests and film festivals.
- This celebration of our one shared ocean brings together organisations and individuals from youth groups, schools, aquariums, zoos, museums, businesses, maritime and tourism industries, government agencies, recreational enthusiasts including divers, surfers, sailors, communities of faith and more.
|Refer to the UPSC Previous Year Question Papers and complement your preparation with the links below:|
Significance of World Ocean Day
- World Oceans Day is a day to think about the extremely important role that the oceans play in all our lives, the dangers that are facing our oceans and the actions we can take to protect them.
- The purposes/objectives of celebrating World Ocean Day are as follows:
- To inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean,
- To develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean, and
- To mobilise and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world’s oceans.
Importance of Oceans
- There is only one global ocean. This is divided into five geographical regions:
- the Pacific Ocean,
- the Atlantic Ocean,
- the Indian Ocean,
- the Arctic Ocean and
- the Southern Ocean
- Life began in the ocean. And the ocean is home to the majority of plants and animals on Earth, from single-cell organisms to the blue whale.
- Marine plants provide us with 70 per cent of the oxygen we breathe.
- The ocean controls the climate, providing heat in winter and cool air in summer.
- It also provides us with food and medicines, as well as transport.
- No matter where you live on the planet, no matter how far from the sea, your life is dependent on the ocean.
Threats faced by Oceans
- The most urgent problem facing the ocean at the moment is plastic pollution.
- Reducing one-use plastic, including plastic bags and plastic bottles, has been an important theme for World Oceans Day for a number of years.
- Climate change and rising sea temperatures are also huge concerns.
- Rising sea temperatures have a direct influence on weather patterns and are seen as partly responsible for an increase in extreme weather conditions.
- An increase in carbon dioxide is increasing the acid levels of seawater and putting many marine organisms at risk.
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