World Oceans Day tomorrow

Call to introduce separate ministry for maritime

Published : 07 Jun 2022 02:02 PM | Updated : 07 Jun 2022 02:35 PM

The World Oceans Day-2022 will be observed tomorrow (June 8) with the call to collect and develop the vast marine resources through adopting collective action. The theme of the day this year is ‘Revitalization: collective action for the ocean’. 

The day will also be observed in Bangladesh as elsewhere across the world with the call to introduce a separate ministry for maritime in order to flourish the blue economy, conserve maritime biodiversity and redress the problems regarding the Bay of Bengal. 

Some organisations on environment and maritime affairs have taken programmes to observe the day in the country. 

Save Our Sea (SOS), a platform of marine conservationists who work for protecting marine environment, will hold a discussion tomorrow (June 8) to mark the World Oceans Day. 

Secretary General of SOS Muhammad Anowarul Hoque said that Bangladesh is a country with great potential in the field of blue economy. “For this reason, the sustainable use of marine resources is a must. However, we still don’t know what kind of marine resources we have. Against this backdrop, we are raising the demand for setting up a separate dedicated ministry for the maritime sector. We are going to observe the day this year highlighting the demand,” he added. 

Chairman of Oceanology Dept of Chittagong University Dr Mohammad Muslem Uddin Munna also called for introducing a new ministry so that the marine borders and resources are protected and utilized properly. Emphasising on the importance of awareness regarding marine affairs, he said that observation of the World Oceans Day will play a vital role in this regard. 

Meanwhile, the Marine Journalists’ Network (MJN), a platform of marine and environment reporting-based journalists working in Bangladesh, has called for observing the day in the country amid elaborate programmes. The MJN has also demanded the formation of a separate ministry-- The Ministry of Maritime Affairs-- in Bangladesh for the development of the maritime sector and flourishing the blue economy.  

President of the organisation Golam Mowla and Secretary Sajed Razu made the call and the demand through a joint statement issued on Tuesday. 

It was said in the statement, the MJN thinks that while the oceans are deeply involved in human life, people are less aware of the oceans. Sea is the lung of the earth, which is essential for the survival of people and biodiversity.

Every member of the world’s population is connected to the sea, which keeps people alive. There is a need for awareness of the sea, its proper utilization and keeping the sea free from pollution. Considering these aspects, it is important to observe World Oceans Day in Bangladesh. MJN therefore called upon all concerned to observe the day, 

Bangladesh is a riverine country. If the river survives, Bangladesh will survive. If the river dies, Bangladesh will die. The sea has a deep connection with the river. If the sea is kept beautiful and pollution free, the rivers of the country will survive. On the other hand, Bangladesh is a coastal country. It has a huge sea border. There is a huge potential for the Blue Economy centering the Bay of Bengal. The Blue Ocean Economy will be the main force of the economy of Bangladesh in the coming days. MJN believes that there is a need to form a separate ministry for the maritime in order to harness the potentials, create skilled manpower to harness the vast resources in the sea, take effective measures to prevent marine pollution and manage the overall maritime affairs properly. The MJN called upon the government to take immediate initiative in this regard. 

World Oceans Day is observed annually on June 8. The day was introduced in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro of Brazil. The day was observed for the first time that year. The day was officially recognised by the United Nations in 2008. 

This year the theme of the day is ‘Revitalization: collective action for the ocean’. The theme was taken in a bid to create a new balance with the sea through collection action. This will restore the vitality of the seas and oceans and bring new life. So, this theme is adopted to create an urge to work together to protect the sea and to revitalize it.