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08 Jun 2024

World Oceans Day

World Oceans Day

Our oceans play a crucial role in regulating our climate and supporting planetary health. Yet, climate discussions often overlook the link between the health of our oceans and planet, with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 14 ‘Life Below Water’, the least funded of all the SDGs.

Climate change, overfishing, chemical pollution and industrial activities are just some of the challenges that are contributing towards a state of decline in our oceans health.

World Ocean Day, celebrated on 8th June, serves both as a reminder of the urgent action we need to restore our oceans, as well as an opportunity to reflect on some of the progress that is being made to protect them.

Following last year’s historic High Seas Treaty, the European Parliament has recently voted in favour of ratifying the Treaty, moving us one step further towards establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) in international waters and signalling to the rest of the world that the EU is taking the issue of ocean protection seriously

And just this week, Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson announced that the Swedish government intends to ban bottom trawling in both MPAs and all Swedish waters, making it the second EU country, after Greece, to ban the practice.

However, the journey towards safeguarding our oceans is not without setbacks. April’s fourth round of the Global Plastics Treaty negotiations in Canada fell short of expectations after they ended without an agreement on binding targets for nations to reduce plastic production. With fifth and final round of negotiations taking place later this year, negotiators face an uphill battle to find an agreement that addresses the issues of avoidable plastics, chemicals of concern and producer responsibility.

During this year’s inaugural Oceans & Water Forum at Innovation Zero, ocean leaders and advocates came together to draw attention to the challenges and opportunities facing our oceans across our sessions on Investing in Nature-Based Solutions, Communicating Conservationism, Wealth Generation in the Blue Economy and Protecting our Oceans Ecosystems & Biodiversity.

Let’s use this year’s World Ocean Day to continue to elevate oceans within climate conversations.


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