Healthy oceans are critical to sustaining life on Earth. They regulate the climate and provide a wide range of services, including natural resources, nutritious food and jobs that benefit billions of people.
In order to protect the health of our oceans, it is crucial for us to know their current state, and understand the impact that human activities and climate change are having on them. This past December, the General Assembly welcomed the First Global Integrated Marine Assessment, a truly global scientific evaluation of the state of the world’s oceans. We now know that although the oceans are seemingly endless, their capacity to withstand human activities is limited, particularly as they also cope with the threats posed by climate change. Urgent action on a global scale is needed to alleviate the world’s oceans from the many pressures they face, and to protect them from future dangers that may tip them beyond the limits of their carrying capacity.
Last year, in adopting the landmark 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Member States underscored that healthy and productive oceans will play a crucial role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Healthy oceans will also play an essential role in climate change adaptation and mitigation, as we strive to implement the Paris Agreement.
On this World Oceans Day, let us all commit to protecting our oceans and using their gifts peacefully, equitably and sustainably for generations to come. Healthy oceans are essential for a healthy planet and a healthy future for all.