By : Marwa Mahmoud
World has celebrated the “World Oceans Day 2020” under the slogan “Innovation for a Sustainable Environment”, highlighting innovation in areas that instill optimism and ability to expand effectively. It provided a chance for leaders to think of different sources that can help to get benefit of the oceans and the earth in general.
The theme for this year is also closely related to the period leading up to the UN Oceanography Decade for Sustainable Development that runs from 2021 to 2030.
Oceans are considered the largest source of protein in the world, with more than 3 billion people relying on the oceans as the primary source of protein. Oceans absorb about 30% of the carbon dioxide that humans produce, preventing the effects of global warming.
The United Nations General Assembly adopted its resolution 63/111 in December 2008, considering June 8 as World Ocean Day. The concept of “World Oceans Day” was first proposed in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro as a way to celebrate our global shared ocean, as well as to raise awareness of the critical role that the ocean plays in our lives and the important ways people can help protect it.
The importance of the world’s oceans is due to the fact that – its temperature, chemistry, currents and life – which lead the global systems that make the Earth habitable for humanity. Sea water, drinking water, weather, climate, coast, much of our food, and even oxygen in the air we breathe, are provided and ultimately regulated by sea. Throughout history, oceans and seas have been vital channels for trade and transport.
The report of the United Nations Environment Fund, that the oceans cover 70% of the Earth’s surface, the largest vital environment on the planet, and includes up to 80% of all types of life in the world.
It produces 50% of the oxygen we need, absorbs 25% of all carbon dioxide emissions, and captures 90% of the additional heat from these emissions. It is not just the “lung of the planet,” it is also the largest carbon sink on the planet – a vital barrier against the effects of climate change.
Oceans face unprecedented threats as a result of human activities. Open ocean sites show that current levels of acidity have increased by 26% since the start of the Industrial Revolution.
Also, coastal waters are degraded by pollution and nutrients. Without concerted efforts, coastal eutrophication is expected to increase in 20% of large marine ecosystems by 2050.
If we are to address some of the most critical issues of our time such as climate change, food insecurity, global diseases and epidemics, diminishing biodiversity, and economic inequality even conflicts, we must act now to protect the state of our oceans.