Every year on June 8th, people around the globe come together to celebrate World Oceans Day 2023. This special day serves as a reminder of the vital role that oceans play in our lives and the urgent need to protect and preserve them.
The POP team in Myanmar is well aware of the importance and challenges of our oceans. So, to celebrate World Oceans Day this year, our POP Ngapali Team held a big clean-up event and created the short video below to raise awareness of the challenges our oceans face. Also, our POP Education program celebrated World Ocean Day by hosting an environmental awareness day with preschool children at The Vera Thomson English School in Ngapali.
The theme for World Oceans Day 2023 revolves around the idea that “Tides Are Changing,” emphasizing the critical changes occurring in our oceans and the call to action for a sustainable future.
Why the Ocean’s Importance?
Covering more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, the ocean acts as a life-supporting system. It regulates the climate, absorbs carbon dioxide, produces oxygen, and provides a habitat for countless marine species. Moreover, the ocean serves as a source of food, livelihood, and inspiration for millions of people around the globe.
The Dynamic Power of Tides:
Tides, the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun, are fascinating phenomena of the oceans. They shape coastlines, influence marine ecosystems, and impact the lives of countless species, including humans. However, today, we face the undeniable reality that our tides are changing.
Climate Change and Ocean Health:
The effects of climate change are becoming increasingly evident in our oceans. Rising global temperatures have led to the melting of polar ice caps and subsequent sea level rise. This alteration in ocean levels not only threatens coastal communities but also disrupts ecosystems and habitats, pushing numerous species toward extinction.
Another significant consequence of climate change is ocean acidification. As carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions increase, a substantial amount is absorbed by the oceans. This absorption alters the seawater chemistry, making it more acidic. Ocean acidification poses a grave threat to marine life, particularly coral reefs, shellfish, and other calcifying organisms that rely on carbonate ions to build their protective structures.
The tides of change also refer to the mounting issue of plastic pollution. The world’s oceans are drowning in plastic waste, which harms marine life and ecosystems. Single-use plastics discarded fishing gear, and microplastics have infiltrated even the most remote corners of our planet’s waters. Urgent action is required to reduce plastic consumption, improve waste management systems, and foster a circular economy that minimizes plastic waste generation.
Overfishing and Habitat Destruction:
Human activities such as overfishing and destructive fishing practices are causing significant imbalances in marine ecosystems. Irresponsible fishing practices, including bottom trawling and bycatch, threaten the delicate balance of marine life. Protecting essential habitats such as coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds is crucial to preserve biodiversity and maintain the health of our oceans.
Preserving the Oceans for Future Generations:
While the challenges facing our oceans are significant, it is not too late to make a positive impact. World Oceans Day serves as a reminder that we must act collectively to protect and restore the health of our oceans. Governments, organizations, communities, and individuals all have a part to play in this endeavor.
Promoting Sustainable Practices:
Implementing sustainable practices is key to reversing the negative impacts on our oceans. Transitioning to renewable energy sources, reducing carbon emissions, promoting responsible fishing practices, and adopting sustainable tourism initiatives are some ways we can make a difference. By embracing sustainable lifestyles and supporting businesses that prioritize environmental stewardship, we contribute to the collective efforts to protect our oceans.
Educating and Raising Awareness:
Education and awareness are powerful tools for change. Through educational programs, public campaigns, and community engagement, we can inspire action for our oceans. Empowering individuals with knowledge and understanding helps create a global movement dedicated to safeguarding our oceans.
On World Oceans Day 2023, we celebrate the beauty, bounty, and importance of our oceans. However, we must also acknowledge the critical changes occurring in our tides and take immediate action to protect them. By recognizing our impact we can reverse these trends and ensure a sustainable future for our oceans.