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June 2004

World Ocean Day

World Ocean Day will be held on the 8th of June 2004. It will be a world-wide ‘Celebration of the Sea’ increasing public awareness about the future of our “Blue Planet” and showing how everyone can act for better management of the Ocean and its resources.  Simultaneously on 5 continents, XXX with the WORLD OCEAN NETWORK members - Aquariums, Science Centres, Museums, Marine Environment Education Associations and Institutes – will present ocean awareness activities to the public. In addition, it will be the day when the Passport of the Citizen of the Ocean will be launched world-wide.

8th June 2004: World Ocean Day

The Ocean covers two thirds of the Earth. It is absolutely vital to our daily lives. It plays a fundamental role in controlling the climates and the quality of air and water. It provides us food, leisure, transport, energy, and minerals, and is an essential part of the world’s economy. Even so, the sea has suffered from mankind’s activities : pollution and depletion of its resources. The impoverishment of its biodiversity is jeopardizing the fragile balance of the marine ecosystem and consequently the ability of the Ocean to support future generations. It is now imperative that political leaders, trade and industry decision-makers together with the general public take the necessary action.

Twelve years after the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and two years after Johannesburg, World Ocean Day is a real celebration of the Sea and its riches. It aims to increase public awareness on how essential the role of the Ocean is and the necessity of acting for its preservation.

The WORLD OCEAN NETWORK members including Aquariums, Science Centres, Marine Environment Associations and Institutes pledge together to actively celebrate this day all over 5 continents. With the support of the Inter-governmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and the sponsorship of UNEP/GPA (United Nations Environment Programme – Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities), and under the honorary presidency of Jean-Michel Cousteau, the Network aims to obtain official recognition of this event from the UN.

The Ocean Project, a strong World Ocean Network partner, proposes to its world-wide members to participate in World Ocean Day and coordinates the organisation of this event in North America. In Europe, the partners of the OCEANICS project undertake the same initiative with the support of the DG Research of the European Commission.

World Ocean Day is the opportunity for each of us to be informed and gain knowledge so that we can take action as Citizens of the Ocean and contribute to a better management of the Ocean and its resources for everyone’s well-being. On this day the WORLD OCEAN NETWORK will officially launch the “Passport of the Citizen of the Ocean”.

The Passport of the Citizen of the Ocean

Half the world’s population today live less than 80kms from the coast. The WORLD OCEAN NETWORK and its members, have decided to create the Citizen of the Ocean status to raise concern about the Ocean. Based on the belief that “Caring for the Blue Planet you can make a difference”, World Ocean Day will be the occasion for the members of the WORLD OCEAN NETWORK to launch the “Passport of the Citizen of the Ocean”.

Through their actions, all Passport holders will become stewards of the Ocean. Since we only protect what concerns us, all Citizens of the Ocean, at their own level, will be committed to act world-wide for the preservation of the Ocean. This is a personal and permanent Passport to which certain obligations and responsibilities apply: each bearer has the right to discover and use the Oceans’ assets in a sustainable manner but also has the duty to understand the impact of human activities on our environment and change their behaviour accordingly.

Citizens of the Ocean will benefit from a special welcome in all venues-members of the World Ocean Network and will be eligible to become “Ambassadors”: by research and diffusion of information, sponsorship of new members and participation in conservation projects. 

All information concerning the Passport of the Citizen of the Ocean will be available on the website: from the beginning of June 2004

The Passport of the Citizen of the Ocean will be launched simultaneously world-wide on the 8th June 2004 and progressively publicised to all citizens of the Planet so that they may become Citizens of the Ocean.

World Ocean Day

Please write here your draft programme and theme.

The June 8 2004 recommended theme is “From hilltops to the Ocean, we all live downstream,” and “Don’t dump what you would not drink.”

World Ocean Day throughout the World

Simultaneously on 5 continents all WORLD OCEAN NETWORK members will invite their public to celebrate the Ocean on the theme: “From hilltops to the Ocean, everything flows into the sea”.

In addition to the launch of the Passport of the Citizen of the Ocean, they will present different types of festivities and activities : artistic, musical, scientific and sports, etc. There will also be contests for the best action in favour of the Ocean according to the principle that “Caring for the Blue Planet you can make a difference!”

  • Europe: within the OCEANICS project, more than 12 Aquariums, Museums and European Institutes will organise conferences, talks with general public, joint literature and information campaign in more than 8 countries and in 11 different languages.  In addition, beach cleaning, guided visits, film shows, drawing competitions, etc. will be organised locally and throughout Europe.
  • Africa: from the point where 2 Oceans meet up to Mediterranean coast, many important events by the sea are arranged including games, activities for everyone, and beach-cleaning etc.
  • North America: from New York to Vancouver via Chicago, under The Ocean Project coordination, numerous important aquariums have programmed on and around the 8th June events and activities for everyone.
  • Asia: in India the event will be celebrated from 5 to 12 June by a network of Centres for Environment Education that will organise film shows all over the country as well as the distribution of pamphlets.
  • Australia and Oceania: in Polynesia the general public will be able to discover turtles and dolphins, learn about their role in the local ecosystem, as well as participate in awareness raising activities on coral reef and find out about lagoon pollution... all this with local schools and hotels.

As a result of joint World Ocean Day celebration, Citizens of the Ocean will be able to share their activities with other participants in four corners of the World… so that the Ocean be bluer for our children than it is for us.

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