World Oceans Day takes place every June 8 and it has been celebrated unofficially since its original proposal in 1992 by Canada’s International Centre for Ocean Development (ICOD) and the Ocean Institute of Canada (OIC) at the Earth Summit – UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Brundtland Commission, or the World Commission on Environment and Development, provided the inspiration for a global oceans day and 1987 Brundtland Report noted that the ocean sector lacked a strong voice compared to other sectors, then at the first world Oceans Day in 1992, the objectives were to move the oceans from the sidelines to the centre of the intergovernmental and NGO discussions and policy and to strengthen the voice of ocean and coastal constituencies world wide.

World Oceans Day was officially recognized by the United Nations in late 2008, then the Ocean Project, working in partnership with the World Ocean Network, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and many other partners in its network of 2,000 organizations, has been promoting World Oceans Day since 2002 and led a three-year global petition movement to secure official UN recognition.

Champagne Beach in Vanuatu is one of the best beaches in the Pacific

World Oceans Day events are celebrated on June 8, the closest weekend, the week, and the month of June and is marked in a variety of ways, including launching new campaigns and initiatives, special events at aquariums and zoos, outdoor explorations, aquatic and beach cleanups, educational and conservation action programs, art contests, film festivals, and sustainable seafood events.

Youth have been playing an increasingly important role since 2015, including the development in 2016 of a World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council.

The 2017 World Oceans Day will coincide with the The United Nations Ocean Conference.

In Vanuatu, a ‘No Plastic Bag’ campaign was staged by volunteers like George Cumbo, Christelle Thieffry, Myriam Malao and Marcel Melthérorong on Facebook with a petition launched at change.org.

“Ol plastik bag oli mekem polusen insaed long solwota blong yumi. Oli kilim ded fulap taosen pidjin mo animol blo solwota evri yia. Yumi yusum singol yus plastik bag wan o tu taem, sot taem no mo, be afta oli stap olsem doti insaed lo envaromen blo yumi.
Stopem yus blo singol yus plastik bag long aelan blong yumi hemi wan namba wan prioriti from se plastik polusen insaed long solwota hemi wan bigfala problem blong yumi evriwan. Naoia hemi taem blo yusum re-yusable bag mo lokol basket. From hemia, mi sanem petisen ia mo mi mi askem wan loa we bae i stopem yus blo singol yus plastik bag long Vanuatu”.

The petition is planned to be delivered to the Prime Minister of Republic of Vanuatu, Minister of Climate change and Environment of Republic of Vanuatu, Leader of opposition of Republic of Vanuatu, Mayor of Port-Vila and Mayor of Luganville.