Across the world, thousands of people will be gathering at hundreds of events to celebrate World Oceans Day. United under this year’s theme, ‘Healthy oceans, healthy planet, events will take place on and around June 8, the day officially recognized since 2008 by the United Nations.
Closer to home, activities are being organized to celebrate this event with the ultimate aim of protecting the oceans. Pacific Oceans Commissioner, Dame Meg Taylor hosted guests and stakeholders to an afternoon tea at the Forum Secretariat today to celebrate our ocean and call our Pacific Ocean Alliance community to action.
“World Oceans Day is not just a day for hype and high tea – it is a call to action, “said Dame Meg Taylor. “I take this role very seriously and have recently had the pleasure of immersing myself in three days of intensive ocean discussions at our inaugural Pacific Ocean Alliance meeting on our High Hopes for High Seas,” she said.
“Seeing such a diverse group of people coming together with one common interest – our ocean – really brought home to me just how central – and vital – the ocean is to everything we do here in the Pacific.”
“We heard at the meeting that the imperative to proclaim our maritime boundaries is becoming increasingly urgent, especially in the context of a new implementing agreement for biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. We must act now to protect what is rightfully ours and supporting our countries and our partners at SPC to progress this work will be one of my key priorities as Pacific Ocean Commissioner.”
The theme for this year’s World Oceans Day is Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet with a focus on stopping plastic pollution, of which 80% is estimated to come from land-based sources. “The Oceans connects us as Pacific Island nations. Marine debris is one of the greatest threats there is to our livelihoods, our culture and our economies. We only need to look into our Harbour at low tide to see the evidence of that threat,” she added. “Importantly in this case – this is a threat that we as individuals can directly influence through our own actions.” Read more.
SOURCE: Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. Photo by Graham Crumb.