The Big Blue covers more than 70 percent of the surface of our planet and about 97 percent of the Earth's water can be found in our ocean.
Recently, I have watched the Pixar animated movie Coco, a story about music-loving boy who makes a journey to the Land of the Dead. The main message I took from this movie (no spoilers ahead and thank me later for the great recommendation) is how important it is to remember things and treasure them. Just as Miguel sings Remember me to Coco, on the 8th of June we take a moment to tell the story of our ocean and appreciate all the achievements and future projects. On this day we want you to remember that the ocean is more than a family, the ocean is Earth's life support and the only home to millions of species.
This year, the theme of the World Oceans Day is protecting 30% of our blue planet by 2030, with the message Together We Can Protect Our Home. This action is called 30x30 and by protecting at least 30% of our ocean through a network of highly protected areas we can help ensure a healthy home for all.
In 2008, European governments committed to having “ecologically diverse and dynamic oceans and seas which are clean, healthy and productive by 2020". Unfortunately, we are nowhere near achieving this. We raised our voice and urged European governments to take global leadership on an ecological transition. In response, the European Commission has committed to ambitious climate and biodiversity strategies that will shift investment and legislation towards a climate-resilient and ecologically diverse future. Our ocean must be an integral part of that strategy and this is why the action plan Blue Manifesto -The roadmap to a healthy ocean 2030 is so important!
More than 100 environmental organizations lead by Seas At Risk, BirdLife Europe, Client Earth, Oceana, Surfrider Foundation Europe, and WWF launched this rescue plan. This plan lays out concrete actions which must be delivered by set dates to turn the tide on the ever degraded and polluted ocean and coastlines. The manifesto is pushing for a complete transition towards low-impact fisheries and planning of human activities that support the restoration of thriving marine ecosystems.
On our Instagram profile, we shared the Blue Manifesto -The roadmap to a healthy ocean 2030, where each bubble represents one year, and the post shares information on important actions dedicated to that year.
On the 20th of May, we welcomed the much-expected EU Biodiversity Strategy. Restoring healthy, well-functioning and resilient natural ecosystems is crucial. The new EU Biodiversity Strategy is central to the European Green Deal and it more relevant than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of the key ocean commitments under the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 are:
Protecting at least 10% of the existing EU protected areas at sea, covering areas of very high biodiversity value or potential.
Manage all marine protected areas, defining clear conservation objectives and measures, and monitoring them appropriately.
Propose binding EU nature restoration targets in 2021 and restore significant areas of degraded and carbon-rich ecosystems at sea.
We are certainly achieving and planning great things for our shared big planet, but the question reminds what can I do? When you hear these kind of actions, it can feel like that only big plans and measurements can make a difference. Remember there are no big and small heroes. Everything you do influences our planet and our Ocean. We want you to firstly, educate yourself on actions you can take and most importantly try. Try to implement them every day, try to share them with your family, friends, or neighbour. Thanks to the power of social media and a little helper called hashtag you can even share your views with your followers by using #WorldOceanDay #ProtectOurHome. This is the day to share the stories of our ocean, to remember and cherish it.
Wherever you are and however you choose to celebrate this day we want you to know that every single action matters and together we can truly protect our home.
Happy World Ocean Day, we are grateful every day for the existence of the Big Blue!