Clownfish in anemone
Oceans feed us, regulate our climate, and generate most of the oxygen we breathe. But despite their importance, oceans are facing unprecedented threats as a result of human activity.
Photo:Grant Thomas/Coral Reef Image Bank
Clownfish in anemone. Oceans feed us, regulate our climate, and generate most of the oxygen we breathe. But despite their importance, oceans are facing unprecedented threats as a result of human activity. Grant Thomas / Coral Reef Image Bank.

Our ocean is our future

When we think of public health risks, we may not think of the ocean. Increasingly, however, the health of the ocean is intimately tied to our health. Some may be surprised to read that organisms discovered at extreme depths are used to speed up the detection of COVID-19, and probably even more to learn that, it is the environment that could give a solution to humankind.

This is one of the multiple reasons why we should celebrate World Oceans Day: 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. The purpose of the Day is to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean, and 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 medicine and a critical part of the biosphere. In the end, it is a day to celebrate together the beauty, the wealth and the promise of the ocean.

Sea turtle

Visit the official UN World Oceans Day website!

To participate, make a pledge and find more information on the International Day, visit the UN World Oceans Day website.

Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean, a theme at the centre of a big online event

As the challenges to the ocean continue to grow, so does the need for novel solutions and the people driving them.

To that end, the theme of UN World Oceans Day 2020 is “Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean.” Innovation—relating to the introduction of new methods, ideas, or products—is a dynamic term, and one that is fundamentally filled with hope. 

The UN World Oceans Day celebration this year will take place as a virtual event produced in partnership with Oceanic Global.

The event will shed light on innovations from around the globe in areas of need that are both promising and proven, ones that instill optimism, and ones that have demonstrated the ability to scale effectively. It will also provide a platform to thought leaders of varied backgrounds, who are paving new paths forward for the health of our ocean and our planet.

The programming of the day and subsequent events taking place throughout World Ocean Week (week of 8 June 2020) will explore innovations across categories including technology, systems infrastructure, resource management, consumer products, finance and scientific exploration — and will outline how these innovations can be applied, their potential impact, and the resources needed to transform them into long-lasting solutions.

This year's theme is especially relevant in the lead-up to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which will run from 2021 to 2030. The Decade will strengthen international cooperation to develop the scientific research and innovative technologies that can connect ocean science with the needs of society.

 

The importance of the Ocean

-

Did you know?

  • Oceans serve as the world’s largest source of protein, with more than 3 billion people depending on the oceans as their primary source of protein
  • Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods.
  • Oceans absorb about 30% of carbon dioxide produced by humans, buffering the impacts of global warming.
jellyfish

UN Event! Save the date!

Join the UN Secretary General, experts and celebrities in this online event on June 8 from 10am to 5pm, and check other events around the world.

Portrait of speakers for the UN event for World Oceans Day

POSTPONED! Stay tuned about updates

Logo Oceans Conference 2020
A kayaker in Raja Ampat

The Ocean Agency, a partner of the United Nations Environment Programme, is inviting parents and their little ones to experience the ocean and its astounding life forms from the comfort of their homes through a little armchair travel. Get inspired and engaged with virtual dives, expeditions and ocean quizzes about the fascinating underwater world in a click on your phone or laptop.

Local fisherman in Mexico

Next year is the beginning of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021 to 2030. The Decade will provide a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to strengthen the international cooperation needed to develop the scientific research and innovative technologies that can connect ocean science with the needs of society.

Geometric illustration with the Secretariat building at UNHQ, New York.

International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.