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Image by Rosie Fraser

World Oceans Day

Today, June 8th is the United Nations World Oceans Day. A day to honour, celebrate and give recognition to the vital role of the oceans in all aspects our lives.

Photo credit - Magda Ehlers

Whether you are a surfer, sailor or simply admire the sea from the shore, World Oceans Day hopes to champion responsible stewardship of our oceans and sustain the abundance of resources it provides us for future generations.

2021-2030 has been declared by The United Nations a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

'The ocean covers 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, is the planet's largest biosphere, and home to up to 80 percent of all life in the world.' - United Nations

'It generates 50 percent of the oxygen we need, absorbs 25 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions and captures 90 percent of the additional heat generated from those emissions.

It is not just ‘the lungs of the planet’ but also its largest carbon sink - a vital buffer against the impacts of climate change.

Photo Credit - Pawel Kalisinski

It nurtures unimaginable biodiversity and produces food, jobs, mineral and energy resources needed for life on the planet to survive and thrive.

There is a great deal we still do not know about the ocean but there are many reasons why we need to manage its sustainability - as set out in the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water.' - United Nations


From the 1-5 of June The World Economic Forum and Friends of the Ocean Action hosted the Virtual Oceans Dialogue, a worldwide digital conference inspiring action to protect our oceans. Conversations were conducted by global leaders, scientists and industry experts covering a diverse array of topics from ocean health, the new world of oceanic data, innovative aquaculture and collaborative solutions to issues facing our oceans.

The 2020 theme: Connecting Communities for Ocean Resilience, Innovation and Action

Watch the recorded sessions from the 2020 Virtual Oceans Dialogue HERE

Photo credit - Matt Hardy


‘Marine permaculture is the ocean farming of kelp and seaweeds. It turns out that kelp and seaweed are nature’s climate warriors and cultivating them at scale could counteract ocean acidification, climate change and loss of biodiversity.’

The Climate Foundation has been conducting research and working to develop marine permaculture systems such as kelp forests on floating platforms. "These floating platforms use wave energy to restore nutrient upwelling to pre- global warming levels.  While the nutrients encourage plankton and kelp growth, the platform provides a structure onto which kelp will attach. In essence, this forms a mini-ecosystem. These platforms will be placed at a depth of 25 meters, making them safe for navigation.  They can be traversed by the largest ocean-going vessels without harm to either the vessel or the structure.  This depth placement also ensures that these platforms will be able to withstand adverse weather conditions, including even the most severe hurricane.   After an initial maintenance period, the marine permaculture platform is designed to operate  without human intervention for up to three years at a time."

- Climate Foundation The short animation below shows the concept, functionality and benefits of marine permaculture.

Video credit - Land Sea Studios

Kelp forests are an amazing carbon sink and draw more CO2 from the atmosphere by area than land-based rainforests!

Photo credit - Brandon Hooganboom

Want to learn more about kelp forests and their influence on climate change?


Additional Resources

Further reading

Sunlight and Seaweed: An Argument for How to Feed, Power and Clean Up the World - Tim Flannery

Eat Like a Fish: My Adventures as a Fisherman Turned Restorative Ocean Farmer - Bren Smith

Important conversations Ocean Protect - listen HERE World Surf League Pure One Ocean - listen HERE The Drawdown Agenda - Episode 8 "Marine permaculture with Brian Von Herzen" - listen HERE

Films / Documentaries

FISHPEOPLE - a documentary presented by Patagonia "A film about lives transformed by the sea"

Palau Coral: Glimmer of Hope - a short film by Gaelin Rosenwaks "Amongst the many gloom and doom stories about corals and our warming oceans, Coral: Glimmer of Hope embarks to tell a positive story about the future of the world’s coral reefs."

"Sir David Attenborough narrates this critically acclaimed series that dives deep into the marine environment of Planet Earth." 2040 - a hybrid feature documentary by Damon Gameau

"A story of hope that looks at the very real possibility that humanity could reverse global warming and improve the lives of every living thing in the process."


References 1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/ 6/


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