UN World Oceans Day 2011

The event explored interactions between the ocean and the environment, society, the economy and youth.
2011 Theme

Our Oceans: Greening Our Future

Our Oceans: Greening Our Future

The event, under the theme “Our Oceans: Greening Our Future”, was marked with an expert panel discussion held at United Nations Headquarters. Introductory remarks were delivered by Ms. Patricia O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel. The panel discussion was moderated by Professor David Freestone, George Washington University. Mrs. Maria Teresa Mesquita Pessôa, Permanent Mission of Brazil to the United Nations, spoke about “Oceans and the environment”. Ms. Chandrika Sharma, International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF), addressed “Oceans and the social impact”. Dr. Rashid Sumaila, University of British Columbia, Canada, talked about “Economic aspects of the oceans”. Mr William Mott, The Ocean Project, shared his perspective on “Oceans and youth”.

Secretary-General’s message

The world’s oceans—which account for about 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface—are facing diverse challenges ranging from depleted fishery resources to the impacts of climate change, the deterioration of the marine environment, to issues of maritime safety and security, labour conditions for seafarers and the increasingly important issue of migration by sea.

Looking ahead to next year’s Rio +20 Conference on Sustainable Development, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his message for World Oceans Day 2011, said “All activities and policies related to oceans and the marine environment need to acknowledge and incorporate the three pillars of sustainable development: environmental, social and economic. Only then can we achieve the development objectives set by the international community.”

Schedule

Message by the Secretary-Genera

World Oceans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of oceans to humankind’s sustainable development. It is also a time to recognize the many severe challenges related to oceans. These range from depleted fishery resources, the impacts of climate change and the deterioration of the marine environment to maritime safety and security, labour conditions for seafarers and the increasingly important issue of migration by sea. Some of these concerns have arisen since the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The progressive development of the law of the sea through the Convention and related instruments is meant to contribute to the sustainable development of the oceans and seas as well as to the strengthening of international peace and security, the equitable and efficient utilization of ocean resources, the protection and preservation of the marine environment and the realization of a just and equitable economic order. As such, the law of the sea provides a flexible and evolving framework for adapting to new challenges. The ecosystem functions that oceans provide, and their importance to the global economy, deserve particular attention as we look ahead to next year’s “Rio+20” United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. For that reason, the theme of this year’s observance is “Our oceans: greening our future”. All activities and policies related to oceans and the marine environment need to acknowledge and incorporate the three pillars of sustainable development: environmental, social and economic. Only then can we achieve the development objectives set by the international community. On this year’s World Oceans Day, I urge Governments and all sectors of society to embrace our individual and collective responsibility to protect the marine environment and manage its resources in a sustainable manner for present and future generations.

Our oceans: greening our future (Roundtable discussion

Moderator: Professor David Freestone; Panel Members: Environmental aspects: Mrs. Maria Teresa Mesquita Pessôa, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Permanent Mission of Brazil to the United Nations; Social aspects: Chandrika Sharma, International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF); Economic aspects: Dr Rashid Somaila from the University of British Columbia in Canada

Oceans and the environment

The Sustainable development of the Oceans, Conserving the marine environment for the benefit of humankind

Mrs. Maria Teresa Mesquita Pessôa

Permanent Mission of Brazil to the United Nations

Oceans and the social impact

A socially-just approach to greening the oceans: What Rio+20 should aim for

Ms. Chandrika Sharma

International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF)

Economic aspects of the oceans

Economics of (un-)sustainability in global fisheries

Dr. Rashid Sumaila

niversity of British Columbia, Canada

Oceans and youth

America, the Ocean and Climate Change

Mr. William Mott

The Ocean Project