Stating that the unsustainable misuse of valuable resources threatens “the ability of our oceans to provide for us”, the United Nations has called for urgent measures to enable the oceans to create a better world on land and under water “for generations to come”.
On the World Oceans day, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres noted that everyone had the responsibility to correct the relationship with nature as the world is striving to end the present global pandemic.
In his message, the Secretary General said that the oceans are not only relied upon for food, livelihoods, transport and trade but are also known as the lungs of the planet. The oceans large carbon sink play a vital role in regulating the global climate, he added.
Guterres said that sea levels were rising because of climate change and threatened lives and livelihoods in low-lying nations and coastal cities and communities around the world. Moreover, the oceans are also becoming increasingly acidic, which has jeopardized marine biodiversity and essential food chains.
‘Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean’, is this year’s theme for the World Oceans Day that is on June 8.
Pointing out that better understanding of the ocean was needed for conserving fish stocks and discovering new products and medicines, he said that UN’s Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable development will provide impetus and a common framework for action.
Meanwhile, UN general Assembly president Tijjani Muhammad Bande said “the unsustainable misuse of this valuable resource threatens “the ability of our oceans to provide for us”.
He also mentioned that protection of marine biodiversity was important as progress is being made in the implementation of SDG14.
“This World Oceans Day, we must take a moment to reflect on and appreciate all that the ocean does for us. It is also an opportunity for us to look forward”, he pointed out, exhorting everyone to “harness the potential of blue and green economies,” he said. .
Mohammad-Bande asked all Member States to “commit to protecting 30 per cent of our blue planet by 2030”, in order to safeguard at least 30 per cent of our ocean, through a network of highly protected areas.