For World Oceans Day 2021 we take a look at what we can do in our rivers to help protect our oceans. Rivers come in all shapes and sizes. One thing they have in common is they start somewhere higher than they finish. Rivers finish their journey in bodies of water. For many, this is lakes or bodies of water – but the rest finish their travel in one of the world’s oceans.
Oceans produce at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen. They are home to most of earth’s biodiversity, and are the main source of protein for more than a billion people around the world. With an estimated 40 million people being employed by ocean-based industries by 2030, oceans are key to our world economy.
Despite all its benefits, oceans are now in need of support. With 90% of big fish populations depleted, and 50% of coral reefs destroyed, we are taking more from the ocean than can be replenished. To protect and preserve oceans and all they sustains, we must create a new balance, built from an understanding of the ocean lifecycle and how we relate to it. We must build a connection to the rivers and oceans around us that is sustainable, accessible forward thinking and informed by lessons from the past.
“The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods” is the theme for World Oceans Day 2021. In addition, the United Nations is making a declaration of intentions that launches a decade of challenges to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 14, “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources”, by 2030.
How to get involved in World Oceans Day 2021
Science centres, research institutes, governments, NGOs, businesses and communities all around the world are planning local and global events involving millions of people.
But there is no need to be part of a group to get involved. World Oceans Day 2021 is happening virtually for the second year in a row, thanks to the pandemic, meaning anyone can sign up to hear talks. Last year, over 300,000 people watched the programme, while 60 million people were talking about it on social media.
At the World Oceans Day 2021 online event, there will be a wide range of more than 40 people talking, including UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, actor and environmentalist Gael Garcia Bernal, PhD marine biology student Nicole Yamase, ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau, actor and oceans activist Sam Waterstone and Marisa Drew, chief sustainability officer at Credit Suisse.
The online event starts at 10:00 EST (16:00 CET) and will end with a virtual Concert for the Ocean from 16:00 EST (10:00 CET). You can sign up for the virtual event here.
How to get involved longer term
We have produced a series of short guides to help you become sustainable, remain or improve your sustainable rafting efforts.
These guides are available on our website and also published on the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) sustainability.sport portal:
- Practical guide to sustainability (for rafters)
- Sustainability ideas for operators, instructors, guides and recreational rafters
- Sustainability ideas for rafting event organisers
- Green Event Action Plan
Follow World Oceans Day 2021 on Instagram: UNWorldOceansDay
#UNWorldOceansDay #WorldOceanDay #EcoRafting #ThisIsRafting #StrongerTogether #WeAreIRF