8 June: World Oceans Day
The World Oceans Day was observed across the world on 8 June 2017 with the theme Our oceans, our future. This year’s theme is connected to the Ocean Conference which took place from 5 to 9 June at United Nations headquarters in New York.
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 world’s shared oceans 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.
Following this, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on 5 December 2008 designated 8 June as the World Oceans Day through its resolution.
Why is there a need to create awareness about oceans?
The World's oceans cover about two-thirds of the surface of the Earth and are the very foundations of life. They generate most of the oxygen that we breathe, absorb a large share of carbon dioxide emissions, provide food and nutrients and regulate climate.
Unfortunately, human pressures including overexploitation, illegal and unregulated fishing, destructive fishing, marine pollution, habitat destruction, climate change and ocean acidification are putting threat to these oceans.
In order to remind everyone of the major role the oceans play in everyday life and to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, it is crucial to raise awareness about the oceans. And for this purpose, the UN observes World Oceans Day every year.