Belize joins the world today in celebrating World Oceans Day. This year’s initiative is focused at preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean. According to the United Nations, 8 million tonnes of plastic per year ends up in the ocean, wreaking havoc on wildlife, fisheries and tourism. Plastic pollution costs the lives of 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals. Vice President of Oceana Belize, Janelle Chanona, the purpose of the Day is to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean, and mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world’s oceans.
Janelle Chanona, Vice President of Oceana Belize: “This is a day where across the world countries set aside time to organize activities to really celebrate the contribution of the World’s Oceans. Obviously there is a running joke of why we call the planet Earth rather than water or Ocean because as you know 71% of the globe is actually underwater. It is really a good time to have a conversation about essentially what are Blue Lungs, I mean if you think of the water being blue because the Ocean plays such critical role in oxygen, in Fisheries, in making our very lives possible in every way you can think of so it’s really a nice time to set aside and just say thank you for that but it’s also a time to look at the challenges we know as well. It’s a trending topic which is good but we really need to be very concrete in how we address the Ocean of plastic and what that’s doing to our food security and to the health of the Ocean’s overall so it’s a time to look at we have achieved and look at what challenges remain to be addressed and I think it’s a really good year. This is also International year of the reef but it is a really good year for Belize to position itself as a Global Leader in safe guarding ocean resources, we had of course the Offshore Oil Moratorium, we had the announcement worked happening towards addressing plastic pollution so Belize is right up there where it needs to be in a very positive way making sure the Worlds Ocean as we interface with it is as healthy as it can be.”
Oceana Belize will carry out an award ceremony to commemorate the worldwide event.