Since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro, World Oceans Day has been celebrated on June 8; however, the designation was not part of an official United Nations resolution. That has all changed:
In paragraph 171 of its resolution 63/111 on oceans and the law of the sea, the General Assembly resolved that, as from 2009, the United Nations will designate 8 June as World Oceans Day.
Organizations, schools, aquariums and ocean advocates no longer have to unofficially celebrate this day. Being officially declared by one of the world’s most powerful governing bodies gives World Oceans Day extra significance. According to the Ocean Project, World Oceans Day allows us to:
Change perspective – encourage individuals to think about what the ocean means to them and what it has to offer all of us with hopes of conserving it for present and the future generations.
Learn – discover the wealth of diverse and beautiful ocean creatures and habitats, how our daily actions affect them, and how we are all interconnected.
Change our ways – we are all connected to the ocean! By taking care of your backyard, you are acting as a caretaker of our ocean. Making small modifications to your everyday habits will greatly benefit our blue planet.
Celebrate – whether you live inland or on the coast we are all connected to the ocean; take the time to think about how the ocean affects you, and how you affect the ocean, and then organize or participate in activities that celebrate our world ocean.
The United Nations has long recognized the significance of the worlds oceans for both peace, sustainability, and prosperity. Resolution 63/111 also states:
Recalling that marine science is important for eradicating poverty, contributing to food security, conserving the world’s marine environment and resources, helping to understand, predict and respond to natural events and promoting the sustainable development of the oceans and seas, by improving knowledge, through sustained research efforts and the evaluation of monitoring results, and applying such knowledge to management and decision-making,
The theme for 2009 World Oceans Day is “one ocean, one climate, one future.” The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of the important connection between people and the ocean around the globe. After years of petitioning the United Nations, June 8 is finally the official World Oceans Day. It only took the UN 17 years to make its declaration!