8 June: World Oceans Day
The World Oceans Day was observed globally on 8 June 2016 with the theme Healthy oceans, healthy planet. The main focus of this year's theme is on curbing the plastic pollution.
Plastic pollution is a serious threat because it degrades very slowly, polluting waterways for a very long time. In addition, plastic pollution impacts the health of aquatic animals because animals including zooplankton mistake the microbeads for food. Scientists also fear health impacts for humans.
The United Nations celebrated World Oceans Day 2016 by recognizing the winners of the Annual World Oceans Day Oceanic Photo Competition at an event at the United Nations Headquarters.
Why is World Oceans Day celebrated?
• To remind everyone of the major role the oceans have in everyday life. They are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe.
• To inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean.
• To develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean.
• To mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world's oceans. They are a major source of food and medicines and a critical part of the biosphere.
• To celebrate together the beauty, the wealth and the promise of the ocean.
In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly through its resolution 63/111decided that, as from 2009, 8 June would be designated by the United Nations as the World Oceans Day.
Many countries began celebrating World Oceans Day following the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, which was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
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