The annual commemoration of June 8 recalls the major role of the oceans in daily life as “the lungs of our planet” and as a source of food and medicine.
I had the privilege of growing up near the ocean.
It pains me to see how overfishing, pollution and rising temperatures are destroying our oceans and biodiversity.
– Antonio Guterres (@antonioguterres) June 8, 2021
Although this year’s theme focuses on their importance to the cultural and economic survival of communities around the world, the Secretary-General cited a recent report which confirmed that many benefits provided by the oceans are compromised by human activity.
Pollution, overfishing, acidification
“Our seas are suffocated by plastic waste, which can be found from the most remote atolls to the deepest ocean trenches,” he said. mentionned.
But the list doesn’t end there. “Overfishing results in an annual loss of nearly $ 90 billion in net profits – which also increases the vulnerability of women, who are vital for the survival of small-scale fishing enterprises,” he added.
“Carbon emissions cause the oceans to warm and acidify, destroying biodiversity and causing sea level rise that threatens heavily inhabited coasts. ”
Sustainable Development Link
With more than three billion people worldwide, mostly in developing countries, who depend on the ocean for their livelihoods, he called for action.
“As we strive to recover from COVID-19, let’s end our war on nature,” Guterres said.