Wednesday, June 8, 2011

World Oceans Day 2011 is Focused on Youth

World Oceans Day (WOD), is celebrated every year on June 8th. WOD was original proposed in 1992 by Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and it was officially recognized by the United Nations in 2008. Since then it has been coordinated internationally by The Ocean Project and the World Ocean Network with greater success and global participation each year.

With the soaring rates of global pollution and over-consumption much of the ocean's marine life is under serious threat. WOD is an annual opportunity to honor the world's ocean and celebrate marine life while recognizing the oceans as a valuable source of food. The oceans are also vital as transportation routes for international trade.

The Ocean Project, working in partnership with the World Ocean Network, has been promoting WOD since 2003 with its network of over 1,200 organizations and others throughout the world. These groups have been working to build greater awareness of the crucial role of the ocean in our lives and the important ways people can help. World Oceans Day provides an opportunity to get directly involved in protecting our future, through educational programs that are changing peoples mindset and personal and community action that gets people involved in cleaning up our oceans. One such initiative involves encouraging people to consume sustainable seafood.

The World Oceans Day 2011 & 2012 theme is Youth: the Next Wave for Change. The aim is to challenge participants to view ocean protection as a way of life, with a special emphasis around World Oceans Day each year.

This focus on youth is based on market research by The Ocean Project and others which clearly shows that youth are the most promising members of the public to reach out to if you want to effect lasting change.

Young people are the most knowledgeable and motivated segment of the population when it comes to the environment and its protection. Youth generally have the free time, familiarity with current issues, and the motivation to go out of their way to take environmental actions. Furthermore, the research shows that parents are increasingly looking to their tween and teenage (i.e. ages 12-17) children for information and advice on these issues.

© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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