Education and advocacy to achieve sustainable, balanced, and environmentally friendly development is one of the focal goals and activities of the Roya Institute for Global Justice. For this reason, we cherish global occasions and local initiatives in this regard. World Oceans Day is one of these momentous occasions.

The ocean covers over 70% of the planet. It is our life source, supporting humanity’s sustenance and that of every other organism on earth.

The oceans produce at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen. They are home to most of Earth’s biodiversity and are the main source of protein for more than a billion people around the world. Not to mention, the oceans are key to our economy, with an estimated 40 million people being employed by ocean-based industries by 2030.

To recognize the contribution of oceans for the survival of a thriving ecosystem on Earth and remind us that it should be protected from the onslaught of excessive human activities, World Oceans Day is celebrated on June 8.

Originally an idea put forward by the Canadian Government at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, World Oceans Day has been organized by the Ocean Project group since 2002. In 2008 the day gained official recognition from the UN General Assembly, a boost in raising the day’s profile and goals. 

This year will be the second fully virtual celebration that will highlight The Ocean’s theme: Life and Livelihoods.

2021 Theme: Life and Livelihoods

This year’s theme recognizes that oceans are not only important in maintaining life on our planet, but the resources that we get from them are essential for those who seek to find a livelihood out of them. With changing climate and frequent cyclones and other natural disasters, those who are dependent on it can lose out on their basic means of sustenance.

At the same time, with 90% of significant fish populations depleted and 50% of coral reefs destroyed, we are taking more from the ocean than can be replenished. To protect and preserve the ocean and all it sustains, we must create a new balance rooted in a true understanding of the ocean and how humanity relates to it. We must build a connection to the inclusive, innovative ocean and be informed by lessons from the past.

UN decade for ocean science for sustainable development: 2021 to 2030

Over the decades, Ocean Science evolved to integrate new societal needs and encourage new partnerships among oceanographers working in different disciplines leading to new discoveries about the ocean’s role in climate regulation and coastal ocean processes.

Ocean Science can support business operations (shipping industry, fisheries, aquaculture, etc.) and conservation and management activities for coastal communities by predicting Ocean hazards, preventing and mitigating disaster risks. 

On December 5, 2017, the United Nations proclaimed a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development to be held from 2021 to 2030. The Decade will provide a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity to create a new foundation across the science-policy interface, to strengthen the management of our oceans and coasts for the benefit of humanity.

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Shristi Banerjee, 

Practising Advocate, High Court of Jharkhand (India)