Today June 8th is designated World Oceans Day by the United Nations and is being celebrated by many countries in the world. The Department of Legislature has decided to acknowledge this day by organizing a number of activities as it celebrates the importance of oceans with the rest of the world.
According to the Secretary-General to Parliament, Mrs. Viniana Namosimalua, the Department is doing this also in support of the leadership role by our Government as co-host with Sweden for the Oceans Conference currently being held in New York.
“The Department recognizes that ours is an island nation surrounded by a vast ocean and on which a large number of its population depend for its sustenance; therefore our oceans must be looked after very well and not polluted.”
“We are hopeful that through the activities planned for the day, we can raise awareness to reduce habits of polluting our marine and coastal ecosystems that are caused by, for example, poor management of industrial wastes and simply not caring that others are affected by overfishing or land-based activities that affect the ocean.”
“Life of our oceans in terms of its temperature, currents and its character, affects life on earth and makes it possible for human beings to live here. This is all the more reason, we need to take care of it,” Mrs Namosimalua said.
By celebrating today, the Department is also translating its understanding of Goal 14 ‘Life Below Water’ under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals into practical activities of awareness and conveying the message of protecting and restoring our oceans so that they are healthy for the next generation.
Educational materials and special slogans were displayed at the Parliament Foyer for Members of Parliament, staff and visitors. The Department will also be cleaning up and planting mangroves at Corpus Christi foreshore.
“It’s encouraging to see and hear about efforts by communities and various groups to not only talk about sustainable oceans, seas and marine resources, but actually implementing decisions taken by their leaders to treasure the ocean by changing perceptions, habits and practices.”
“By being part of the celebrations held around the world, it can reinforce the need for more concerted efforts at all levels to pay more attention to our oceans and for us in the Department, we can by continuing these initiatives even after June 8th in our own homes, neighborhoods, communities and villages as we make voluntary commitments to implementing targets for a sustainable ocean,” Mrs Namosimalua added.