Only 2 months until World Oceans Day is upon us again!
World Oceans Day has been unofficially celebrated each year since it was first proposed in 1992 by the Government of Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. In 2009 the U.N. official declared June 8th to be World Oceans Day and since then the event has been coordinated internationally by The Ocean Project and World Ocean Network. From the U.N. page:
In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly decided that, as from 2009, 8 June would be designated by the United Nations as “World Oceans Day” (resolution 63/111, paragraph 171). Many countries have celebrated World Oceans Day following the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, which was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
The oceans are essential to food security and the health and survival of all life, power our climate and are a critical part of the biosphere. The official designation of World Oceans Day is an opportunity to raise global awareness of the current challenges faced by the international community in connection with the oceans.
Why should we celebrate World Oceans Day? As The Ocean Project reminds us, the Oceans:
- Generate most of the oxygen we breathe
- Help feed us
- Regulate our climate
- Clean the water we drink
- Offer us a pharmacopoeia of potential medicines
- Provide limitless inspiration!
The participation in this event has been increasing dramatically with each passing year. There were over 300 events organised in 45 countries in 2010 (up 26% from 2009). Who knows what the increase will be for this edition!
World Oceans Day follows a theme which changes from one year to the next. In 2009 it was "One Ocean, One Climate, One Future", while in 2010 the theme was "Oceans of Life". This time they've selected a theme for both 2011 and 2012: "Youth: the Next Wave for Change". Apparently studies have shown that young people are the most knowledgeable and motivated segment of the population when it comes to the environment and its protection. They have free time, they're curious and informed (more than many people give them credit for) and they're motivated! And in this technological era, more and more families are getting their information and advice on certain issues from their kids (who, let's face it, are frequently more techno-savvy than their parents.)!
I don't know yet what I'll be doing for WOD this year. I have a couple of ideas, but I have to sit down and see which is more feasible, and then come up with the time to actually do it! At the very least I'm going to "submit" my English students to some Ocean-centric classes that week! :p
But one thing is for sure, I'll be hosting another Oceanic Blog-A-Thon! I had a lot of fun with the 2009 and 2010 editions, and it's become my favourite blogging event of the year! It's wonderful to read the stories and adventures and memories that everyone is willing to share. It's a challenge to come up with interesting factoids to "Wear Blue and Share Two". I've already registered it amongst the 2011 Events, so the ball is officially rolling! ;o)
I hope many of you will join me in celebrating our Oceans. By participating in the Blog-A-Thon, by doing something with your local community, or simply by sharing some oceanic factoids with the people around you to help raise public awareness for the importance of our oceans! In the meanwhile I leave with a love song to the Great White Shark (from the upcoming short family film The Shark Riddle -which I'm sad I won't be able to find over here, would be great for my classes!-):
So sea you around here in 2 months!
Banners available from the Ocean Project Website. Oceanic Blog-A-thon posters adapted from each year's poster provided by the Ocean Project Website.