"We have to ensure that oceans continue to meet our needs without compromising those of future generations," said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Sunday in a message on the occasion of World Oceans Day, observed June 8 every year, adding that "their depths hold current and future solutions to humanity's energy needs".
Unesco Director-General Irina Bokova said: "At a time of rising threats, 'business as usual' is no longer acceptable -- we must change how we understand, manage and use ocean resources and coastal areas. For this, we need to know more about the ocean and draw on stronger science to craft sustainable, ecosystem-based policies for the ocean and coasts."
The UN General Assembly has recognised oceans and seas as an important part of sustainable development -- as envisioned by the Millennium Declaration, and its landmark anti-poverty goals (MDGs). Looking now to craft a successor to the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, member states have identified protecting oceans as one of the keys to creating a better, cleaner future for the planet.
"Billions of humans, plants and animals depend on our oceans each and every day," said UN General Assembly President John W. Ashe in his message on the day.
"I call on member states and other stakeholders to continue to take action to protect our oceans by reducing pollution, and protecting marine life for present and future generations," he added.