World Oceans Day 2024

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World Oceans Day was recently celebrated at UN Headquarters in New York, focused on “opening minds, igniting senses, and inspiring possibilities” to protect marine life worldwide.

About World Oceans Day:

  • It is celebrated annually on June 8.
  • This day aims to raise awareness about the critical role oceans play in our planet's ecosystem.
    • Oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth's surface and are crucial for regulating the climate, providing food and oxygen, and supporting a diverse range of marine life.
    • They are also essential for human livelihoods, supporting industries such as fishing, tourism, and shipping.
  • The event encourages global collaboration for sustainable ocean management, addressing issues such as pollution, overfishing, and climate change. 
  • The theme for 2024 World Oceans Day is “Awaken New Depth”.
  • History:
    • The concept of World Oceans Day was first proposed in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
    • This global event, officially known as the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), highlighted the critical role oceans play in sustaining life on Earth. 
    • The idea gained momentum over the years, leading to its official recognition by the United Nations in 2008. 
    • The UN General Assembly designated June 8 as World Oceans Day, aiming to raise awareness about the importance of oceans and the urgent need to preserve them.
    • Every year, the UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea organises events to create public awareness.

Q1: What is the United Nations High Seas Treaty?

United Nations High Seas Treaty is known as the ‘Paris Agreement for the Ocean’, and the treaty to deal with Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdictionhas been under discussion for several years. The proposed treaty concerns the ocean existing beyond the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) that lie from the coast of a country to about 200 nautical miles into the sea (Countries have special rights for exploration till 200 nautical miles). The treaty was to be negotiated under the United Nations Convention on Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS) of 1982.

Source: World Oceans Day event highlights immediate protection measures needed