World Oceans Day 2016 – Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet!

The five distinct oceans of the world, which comprises of 97 per cent of total water on earth, are the major driving force behind the global systems that ensures the Earth remains habitable for humankind. They play a significant role to regulate our rainwater, climate, oxygen, food, etc. It is estimated that over 3 billion people across the globe depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. The oceans also absorb nearly 30 per cent of the carbon emitted by humans and have played a crucial role in transportation and trade amongst the continents from ages.

It is believed that nearly 40 per cent of the oceans are heavily affected by human activities which has resulted in adversely impacting the marine biodiversity. With a substantial increase in ocean pollution, scientists and environmentalists became concerned about management of oceans which is necessary for a sustainable future, and thus the concept of a World Ocean Day was proposed in the Rio 1992 summit to raise awareness of the crucial role of the oceans in our lives.

However, it was official recognized by the United Nations in 2008. This year’s theme is ‘Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet’ that highlights promoting prevention of plastic ocean pollution. On this day, locals may run campaigns to clean and avoid plastic pollutants at the beach from entering the ocean. People should come forward to alleviate the world’s oceans from the pollution and protect them for the future generations. Our actions can safeguard the vulnerable coastal communities and ensure the livelihoods of people remains secured.

The world has gained the right kind of momentum with the historic Paris agreement and nations are now motivated towards environment conservation. It is understandable that healthy oceans will definitely help in climate change adaptation and mitigation. As individuals we need to commit that we will protect our oceans and utilize the resources peacefully, equitably and sustainably. Let us join the movement and ensure that our oceans remain healthy. Every individual has the power to encourage others to think what ocean means to them and usher hopes of conservation. There is a need to raise awareness about marine life and habitats which are being affected by our activities. Small efforts from individuals will definitely make a difference and benefit the planet. Let’s realize that ocean and its bio-diversity is choking in garbage dumping, and we need to not only clean it up, but also stop the pollution at origin.

The ocean is not a dump yard, its home to millions of species.

How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean. ~Arthur C. Clarke

By Rahul Choudhury

Media & Communications – Fiinovation

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