World Oceans Day 2014: Together we have the power to protect Oceans
World Oceans Day has been unofficially celebrated every 8 June since its original proposal in 1992 by Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 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. Green Cameroon would join the entire world to celebrate this year’s World oceans day.
If Water is life then we need to protect and respect it. Oceans deserve better respect from what we are currently giving to them today. Where we started failing was a long time ago when we started disregarding all the numerous services offered to use by our oceans. As the ocean is immense it can seem like a useful bin for all the huge amount of waste produced by mankind, but this is woefully not true. The earth was once free of damaging chemicals and oil, plastic rubbish and other pollution. As humans have developed more and more industries over the last two hundred years, we are responsible for more and more damaging discharges and product.
All rivers flow in to the sea. Human activities on land far away from the sea can travel to damage the marine environment. Pesticides and fertilizers added to farmland run off the land and down rivers, ending up to sea. Oil enters the sea by running off roads. If many people use the beach as a toilet, the sea cannot cope with additional waste; it becomes dirty. New traditions must emerge to suit the new situation and this is what Green Cameroon is striving to impose.
The only way the ocean can be protected is through cooperation. Green Cameroon plans to gathered people together and talk about how to manage their coast lines on the world ocean day. Fishermen, tour operators, councilors and conservators are all to be involved. To help them, Green Cameroon world try to propose remedies and organize organizations to aid with interest-free loans for new businesses, like seaweed farming and ecotourism. We are aware that it takes time for changes to take effect, but there are already signs.
Green Cameroon also plans to lecture the population on Riverine pollution. Riverine pollution should be paid a lot of attention as rivers constitute very fragile ecosystems and represent a fraction of freshwater potential worldwide threatened by global climate change unsustainable exploitation, diverse pollution deforestation and growing demographic pressure.
How will you make your voice heard this year for the ocean? The call this year is to recognize that we all face the same challenges and are connected and united by our common goal of a sustainable and prosperous life for all on this planet. The call is to raise our voice in solidarity with one another, particularly with the citizens of nations sharing borders with Oceans. Whether it is to organize clean up campaigns, food waste reduction initiatives, walk-to-work days, plastic bands, art exhibitions, tree-planting drives, concerts, dance recitals, recycling drives, social media campaigns and different contests – every action counts. When multiplied by a global chorus, our individual voices and actions become exponential in its impact.
Happy World Ocean day
Njeke Joshua Egbe, Green Cameroon.