Wednesday, June 08, 2016

On World Day, UN urges meaningful action to protect future health of oceans

On World Day, UN urges meaningful action to protect future health of oceans Healthy oceans are critical to sustaining life on Earth, by regulating the climate and providing a wide range of services, including natural resources, nutritious food and jobs that benefit billions of people, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared today, as the UN kicked off its celebrations to mark World Oceans Day.

“Healthy oceans are essential for a healthy planet and a healthy future for us all,” the Secretary-General affirmed in his message for the Day, which is observed annually on 8 June.

This year’s theme, Healthy oceans, healthy planet, spotlights the threat of plastic pollution, which degrades very slowly, polluting waterways and impacting the health of aquatic animals, which mistake the microbeads for food, as well as the health of humans.

In his message, the Secretary-General underscored that in order to protect the health of oceans, it is crucial to know their current state, and also understand the impact that human activities and climate change are having on them.

He recalled that this past December, the UN General Assembly had welcomed the First Global Integrated Marine Assessment, a global scientific evaluation of the state of the world’s oceans.

“We now know that although the oceans are seemingly endless, their capacity to withstand human activities is limited, particularly as they also cope with the threats posed by climate change,” Mr. Ban said.

“Urgent action on a global scale is needed to alleviate the world’s oceans from the many pressures they face, and to protect them from future dangers that may tip them beyond the limits of their carrying capacity,” he added...

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