The commemoration of the World Oceans Day is a great reminder to every one of us of the major roles the ocean plays in our lives. As lungs of our planet, a major source of food and medicine, which forms a critical part of the biosphere, the NCCE is pleased to join the global community to raise the needed awareness to conserve and preserve our ocean.
It is in line with this that the Commission views the theme for this year’s celebration, “The Ocean: Life and livelihoods” as apt and instructive. Indeed, the ocean which is home to most of the earth’s biodiversity, is key to our economy, which employs millions of people. The alarming report posted by the United Nations that 90% of big fish populations are depleted, and 50% of coral reefs destroyed as well as the increasing menace of plastic pollution of our ocean is worrying.
This is the reason why the NCCE supports calls for policies that protect and preserve the ocean in order to sustain and create a new balance, rooted in how humanity relates to it. The Commission believes that if we build a deeper connection with a multiple level of innovative approach, informed by lessons from the past, we can improve the fortunes of our lives.
We have to protect our ocean by being the very actors to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources” by 2030 as captured under Sustainable Development Goal 14. Since we are enjoined by Article 41 (k) of the 1992 Constitution to protect and promote the environment including the ocean, the NCCE reiterates the impact of human actions on the ocean, and re-echoes the urgent need for all of us to develop practical measures to ensure sustainable management of our oceans and water bodies.