The United Nations World Oceans Day is an annual global event celebrated on June 8th to raise awareness about the importance of the oceans and the need to protect them. The ocean covers over 70% of the Earth's surface, regulates the climate, and supports diverse marine life. World Oceans Day aims to promote public awareness and encourage action to conserve and sustainably use these vital resources. This year’s theme is “Planet Ocean: Tides are Changing.”
According to the UN, over three billion people depend on marine and coastal resources for their livelihoods. Fishing is an important revenue source for people living in the coastal regions. Therefore, protecting the earth's oceans is a key role every individual, institution and governments should take seriously.
At Ocean Sole, we participate in weekly beach cleans at the coast of Kenya as part of our role in environmental conservation. Along with the cleans, we have partnered with the Leaf Charity to plant and restore mangrove trees on the coast of Kenya.
Mangroves, seagrass beds, and coral reefs keep coastal zones healthy. Mangroves provide essential habitats for thousands of species. They also stabilise shorelines, preventing erosion and protecting the land and people from waves and storms.
The Leaf Charity works with communities worldwide to protect habitats and promote reforestation. Since we partnered with Leaf, we have planted 14,794 mangrove trees of six species.
Ocean Sole and Leaf Charity have worked closely together in joint beach cleanups and mangrove restoration, with a mission to protect and conserve our environment and support the local community. Together with the Leaf charity, we buy mangrove seedlings from a local community group known as Friends of Nature, as a way to support their efforts, and we also compensate the Ocean sole mamas who volunteer in the planting.
Leaf Charity And Ocean Sole mamas planting mangrove seedlings
Ocean Sole works closely with the Mijikenda community along the Kenyan coast, we clean polluted beaches as we educate the community about the importance of conservation. By involving the community in these beach cleans we help to supplement their income and improve their livelihoods.
Ocean Sole mamas holding mangrove seedlings
We carry out weekly beach cleans with the ocean mamas and they have been a tremendous help. We caught up with one of our ocean mamas, Margret Ziro, she’s one of the oldest member of the group. When she’s not cleaning beaches she’s rearing her poultry. ‘These days, I don’t rely on my husband to buy chicken feeds because I can afford to buy weekly,’ Margret said. During our beach cleaning, Margret always takes home ropes collected, repurposes them as tether for her livestock.
Margaret during a beach clean
Omar, who is a beach operator and Ocean Sole volunteer, is always grateful for the work Ocean Sole does to save marine wildlife and on working closely with the community to change their livelihood. Omar expanded his stall at the Vidazini beach where visitors come to relax while at the beach, which became possible due to the compensation he receives from Ocean Sole. Omar plays a great role in the Ocean Sole Mamas group since he has good rapport with fishermen and the locals. Ocean Sole will launch a Flip flop bin to commemorate World Oceans Day, close to Omar’s stall at the beach.
Omar in a beach clean with the ocean mamas
Winnie, a member of the Ocean Sole Mamas is a farmer. “Anytime I walk on the beach and it’s clean, I feel happy” With compensation she gets from Ocean Sole as a clean up volunteer she’s been able to buy all the materials needed to help with her farming.
We're proud of the work we do here at Ocean Sole, it's the small steps that make a difference. This World Oceans Day is an opportunity to make a difference either individually or as a group. You can observe this day by:
- Participating in ocean day events near you.
- If you live near the ocean, organize a beach clean activity to create awareness for the oceans.
- Avoid single use plastic or learn how to recycle plastics.
- Only eat fish that has been caught sustainably.
- Join the online conservation #WorldOceansDay and help spread the message on all your social media platforms, and also with your family and friends.
This year, the United Nations will host a celebration of the annual event on 8 June 2023, hosted in-person at the UN Headquarters in New York to be broadcasted live.
Hosted by the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea of the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations, in partnership with the non-profit organization Oceanic Global, this year’s annual event will shed light on how we can work together to ensure the ocean’s health and well-being.
Let's come together for our oceans! #WorldOceansDay
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