World Oceans Day: Nature doesn’t need people. People need nature.

The S.E.A. Aquarium celebrated World Oceans Day on 6 June. Our guest writers from Millennia Institute attended the inaugural World Oceans Day 2015 Symposium and wrote about their thoughts.

The ocean is such a mysterious place, teeming with endless life and beauty. It occupies ninety-nine percent of the living space on earth, and provide vital resources to those living on dry land.

In fact, we might even say that the oceans shape our future and our survival. This World Oceans Day, let us rev up the blue vibes, plunge deep and understand what the ocean means to us.

Writers as we arrive at Equarius Hotel for the World Oceans Day 2015 Symposium.

What is World Oceans Day about?

Many of us may be unfamiliar with this term, especially since the blue movement is less popular in Singapore. World Oceans Day is an initiative by the United Nations, falling every year on 8 June. People across the world unite and celebrate to actions taken to protect the ocean.

This year at the World Oceans Day 2015 Symposium at Resorts World Sentosa, the team emphasized three main threats to the ocean:

  • climate change
  • overfishing
  • pollution

With the massive increase of greenhouse gases, our oceans are getting warmer and more acidic. Eighty seven percent of the world’s wild-caught fisheries are fully exploited, overexploited or depleted.Costal habitats are being destroyed at an alarming rate- nearly one-third have been ruined.Needless to say, the health of the ocean is deteriorating and we must take action to protect it.

Why protect the oceans?

Did you know that on average, Singaporeans consume 18 kg of seafood per capita annually? The most common source of fish we consume is salmon which makes up twenty percent of the total amount of seafood eaten locally.

Apart from being a major source of food, we also use the ocean for recreational activities. Imagine surfing through polluted waters, diving on destroyed coral reefs or strolling along littered beaches. These scenarios are not previews into the future of the ocean; they are current and happening now.

What can we do?

How can we contribute to the conservation of the oceans?

As individuals, we can do our part by commemorating the beauty of the ocean and sharing our experiences. We can raise awareness on the current health of the ocean and what we can do to protect it. Using our own social media platforms we can reach a huge number of people and encourage others to appreciate it’s beauty, and how many important resources in provides to us.

Making simple lifestyle changes such as using public transport instead of private vehicles, using fans instead of the air conditioner and switching off electrical appliances when not in use. By making these small changes and encouraging others to do so, we can work together to protect the environment.

We can also encourage change by ensuring that our seafood comes from sustainable fisheries. Many sustainable products possess a blue label indicating that they have been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). This is not only ensures that we are protecting our oceans and preventing exploitation of fisheries, but it is also a much safer and traceable food choice compared to sourcing for food from uncertified sources. As the old adage goes, “watch what you eat”.

Resorts World Sentosa has also introduced 3 new actions which we all can do to play a part in protecting the environment:

  • Pick it up
  • Bin it
  • Take 3 for the Sea

By simply being responsible for our own garbage and spreading the message on conservation, we can create the next ripple of change for a cleaner and greener Planet Earth.

We need to remember that we are all inhabitants of this world and as such, need to play our part in protecting the oceans. Let us remember that indeed, Nature does not need people, but people need nature.

 

 

Written by Millennia Institute students:

  • Agatha Oei
  • Liew Shan Ling
  • Kok Zhi Yee
  • Shariffathul Anvari
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