UNITED NATIONS (TURKISH JOURNAL) – By Nishat Mirza – The United Nations is celebrating World Oceans Day June 8th, along with the people of small Islands, people from across cultures, and across gender to bring awareness on Oceans Health, Marine Life, as well as the importance of improving the lives of many who live on the coastal areas.
The theme of this year’s UN Oceans Day is “Gender and the Ocean”, where storytellers and oceans protectors around the globe came together to tell their oceans stories. Activist, Writers, Wildlife Photographers, Policy Makers and others who overcame the gander barriers, spoke on the event. They came to tell their stories, on oceans activism and why it is important for everyone to come together.
People of the small islands who depend on fishing for their daily living, had great stories to tell along with those adventurer who embraced the oceans as divers or marine wildlife photographers.
Ms. Aunofo Havea who grew up watching the waves in the pacifics, says “We humans abuse the oceans,
I wish the Shark can speak,
I wish the Dolphin can speak.”
She added, people throw tons of plastics into our waterways without thinking of the consequences. People need to know the damage they are causing to marine lives and their habitates by dumping wastes in the water. Havea learned to drive a boat for a better job to provide for her five children. The oceans has been the main financial source for the people in the Pacifics when most of the small islanders depend on the oceans.
Documentary filmmaker Ms. Anne Carbuccia from Mexico, traveled the world ducumenting youth and women living in the coster areas to share their stories. Carbuccia says, although local communities and organizations in the West are working on oceans conservations, we need to hear from those who are suffereing the consequences. Carbuccia, an environmental artist, met oceans guardians along the shores while traveling for her film.
On a panel of oceans activists, South Asian Labor Protection Network spokesperson tells the story of saving 5000 fishermen who were enslaved to work for fishing companiers. They were not given decent salaries or were ensured safety at workplace. As part of the supply chain on the fishing community, we must ask the most important question to ourselves, are the fishermen getting decent pay? Are the fishermen being treated with dignity? We are all equality important in making blue economy a reality where workers’ rights are equally important.
The UN Oceans Day event was a great way to portray those who are in the frontline, who are our oceans guardians, protecting our oceans on a daily basis.