Without the world’s oceans, human life cannot exist. As well as absorbing a large share of carbon dioxide emissions, they produce much of the oxygen that we breathe. Oceans cover about two-thirds of the surface of the earth, help regulate the climate, and in addition they provide food and nutrients for plants, animals and people. Around the globe, small scale fisheries account for over 90 per cent of the world’s commercial fishermen, processors and other workers – equivalent to more than 100 million people employed along the value chain. Roughly half are employed in the oceans, with the other half in inland fisheries – making small scale fisheries by far the oceans’ largest employer.
To mark their importance, World Oceans Day is celebrated every year on 8 June. On this day, decision-makers, scientists, industry and civil society connect to promote a more sustainable, respectful relationship between humankind and the world’s oceans.
As part of the UN Ocean Conference, Oak Foundation’s Environment Programme would like to announce that we are increasing our original commitment to ocean conservation (made at the Our Oceans Conference in September 2016) from USD 60 million over three years to USD 100 million over five years. This reflects our continued commitment to advancing ocean management, according to our strategic priorities. Our aim is to support our partners’ advancement in at least three areas, including: the prevention of illegal, unreported and unregulated industrial fisheries; the support of small scale fishery governance and leadership to protect marine ecosystems and livelihoods; and the drastic reduction of the leakage of plastic debris into the oceans. We believe that supporting work in these three areas will improve the health and integrity of marine ecosystems and the communities that depend on them.
We support organisations that work globally, including place-based work in Europe, the Arctic, East Asia and Africa. To find out more about our strategy click here. To find out more about our work in cleaning up the oceans from plastic pollution, click here. If you would like to find out more about Oak’s continued commitment to advance ocean management, please contact Alexandra.Marques@oakfnd.ch.
In addition, this year on 8 June, the UN has created a portal to share what is happening around the world on this special day. Use this portal as a guide to check out events happening around the world, to find out about the UN’s educational resources and much more!