Photo courtesy Anders Nyberg
10 THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR DURING WORLD OCEAN WEEK
June is an important time to celebrate and observe the state of our natural world. More importantly, it is a significant opportunity to better understand and explore options to raise your voice and roll up your sleeves for the environment. From World Environment Day (5 June) to World Oceans Day (8 June), there are numerous ways to get involved, even while at home.
Check out our list of events and interactive activities scheduled for World Ocean Week (8 to 12 June). A more comprehensive list of events is available on the UN’s World Oceans Day website.
1. Start exploring the week before
The week ahead of World Ocean Week is a critical time to create awareness on the state of our environment and biodiversity, starting with World Environment Day (5 June).
This year, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has issued a call to action in its latest campaign to remind everyone that human health is intricately linked to the planet’s health – from the air that we breathe to the food that we eat. Called “Time for Nature,” the campaign is enlisting everyone – from governments to individuals to faith leaders – to join forces to combat today’s unprecedented biodiversity loss and natural world degradation.
Check out the Reboot the Ocean event – a global hackathon featuring inspiring young people with innovative and techy solutions to today’s ocean challenges.
Other noteworthy events
1 to 5 June
Virtual Ocean Dialogues organized by the World Economic Forum and the Friends of Ocean Action
Asia-Pacific webinar organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) to keep the momentum for ocean action
3. Why does Ocean Science matter?
Ahead of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization will host an Ocean Literacy Summit to mark the importance of scientific knowledge and how ocean literacy can help transform sustainable production and consumption practices across the world.
Every year, the world consumes up to 5 trillion plastic bags and a staggering 8 million tonnes of plastic waste ends up in the ocean every year. Learn more about cutting down our plastic use with UNEP’s Clean Seas campaign.
5. Explore Partnerships to Transform Ocean Industries
United Nations photo: IMO
The International Maritime Organization has launched several projects with its partners to counter a range of challenges in the maritime sector, including the shipping and oil industries – from encouraging transformation towards a lower carbon future, promoting safe and environment-friendly ship recycling to putting in place oil spill preparedness and response plans.
Find out how the UN Global Compact is working with its government, business and other partners to transform ocean industries through its Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform. Read the Compact’s latest recommendations to Governments to keep global ocean-related supply chains moving during the COVID-19 pandemic given that almost 90 per cent of the global trade of goods is carried by vessels.
Want to know more about the sustainable ocean economy? A group of world leaders and leading experts, led by Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, have formed a High-level Panel on Sustainable Ocean Economy to build a shared understanding of and recommendations for improving the state of the ocean economy and ecology. Their thematic Blue Papers provide robust, fact-based information on a range of ocean issues.
7. Go for a virtual dive!
The Ocean Agency, one of UNEP’s creative partners, has teamed up with Google to offer a wealth of education resources to help people feel close to the ocean. Below are some exciting options to explore.
- Take an Ocean Safari Quiz
- Find the Centre of Life on Earth
- Look for Sea Dragons in Sydney
If you are feeling inspired, join the Save the Ocean creative challenge, organized by UNEP, The Ocean Agency and Adobe. Make your own digital video using existing footage and latest applications. Read UNEP’s interview with Richard Vevers, the head of The Ocean Agency, on why we should care about coral reefs.
9. Make a commitment!
Photo courtesy: Ocean Action/Lauren Lambert
If you or your organization are making efforts to care for the ocean and its resources, we want to know! Register your commitment with the United Nations. Launched in 2017, ahead of the first UN Ocean Conference, the registry now has more than 1,600 commitments, ranging from sustainable fishery programmes, mangrove and coral reef conservation to marine data collection projects.
Moreover, behind each commitment is an inspiring story of ocean action. UN DESA has coordinated all of the commitments into nine active Communities of Ocean Action categories, including marine technology, sustainable blue economy and the law of the sea. Contact us to learn more about the initiatives, how they are being implemented and supporting local communities.