Limerick passes resolution supporting 30th anniversary World Oceans Day initiative

·4 min read

Limerick Township council, at their council meeting on April 20, discussed a letter they had received from Paul Gregory, senior oceans campaigner with Nature Canada about the upcoming 30th anniversary of World Oceans Day on June 8 and passed a resolution to support this momentous occasion and its objective to protect 30 per cent of the world’s oceans by 2030. Samantha Gibb, World Oceans’ Day manager with The Ocean Project/World Oceans’ Day also comments on this initiative.

Gregory sent the letter to Limerick Township, on behalf of Nature Canada’s ocean protection team, requesting their support of World Oceans Day 30th anniversary initiative; to protect 30 per cent of the oceans globally by 2030 by establishing Marine Protected Areas to reverse nature loss and protect at-risk aquatic species. This commitment by nations to protect 30 per cent of the world’s oceans comes from the Global Deal for Nature in the Paris Accords.

Originally put forward by Canada’s International Centre for Ocean Development and the Ocean Institute of Canada in 1992, and spurred before that by the realization of the World Commission on Environment and Development that the ocean sector lacked a strong voice versus other wildlife areas, World Ocean Day has expanded to an international observance every year on June 8. Officially recognized by the United Nations in 2008, the initiative “supports the implementation of worldwide sustainable development goals and fosters public interest in the protection of the ocean and the sustainable management of its resources,” according to its description on www.un.org.

One of the oldest national nature conservation charities in Canada, Nature Canada has helped protect over 110 million acres of parks and wildlife areas and countless species over the past 80 years. Guided by over 1,200 nature organizations, Nature Canada today has over 130,000 members and supporters.

Gibb told The Bancroft Times on April 22 that she thought it was great that Limerick Township had supported World Oceans’ Day, and said it was very timely considering that it was Earth Day that day. She says that with the leadership of the World Ocean Day youth advisory council, the event is shaping up to be one of the most impactful yet, with activities, celebrations and other events, both online and in person, planned throughout June.

“Hundreds of organizations are getting involved in activities and influencing world leaders to support increased protections for our shared oceans,” she says.

Gibb reveals that in typical years, over 2,000 events are organized in more than 140 inland and coastal countries, including events hosted by youth groups, schools, aquariums, zoos and businesses.

“For 2022, World Ocean Day is continuing to raise awareness and support for the global movement to protect at least 30 per cent of the world’s lands, waters, and ocean by 2030. Safeguarding at least 30 per cent through a network of highly protected areas can help ensure a healthy ocean and climate. People can learn more at www.worldoceanday.org/conservation-action-focus/,” she says.

Gregory said in his letter to council that in 2015, only one per cent of Canadian oceans were protected, but by 2020, that number had risen to 14 per cent. With the longest coastline in the world, he argues that Canada has a duty to be a leader in oceanic protection and that municipalities like Limerick can be a potent agent of change.

Gregory said that this municipal power of change has been seen over the years in their influence on other tiers of government in the fight to reduce greenhouse gases and reduce global warming, and that achieving their ocean protection goal will enable everyone to triumph over global warming.

“The oceans play a pivotal role counteracting climate change as the largest carbon sink, providing more than half our oxygen while storing fifty times more carbon than the atmosphere. Oceans also regulate weather, helping to balance the uneven distribution of solar radiation,” he said in his letter.

Gregory requested that Limerick council pass the attached resolution to influence higher levels of government to throw their support behind World Oceans Day thus supporting Marine Protected Areas and implementing effective policies to do so. He said it would mean a great deal to them if Limerick could give their full support for this initiative “to help secure a future for our generation and the generations to come.”

So, for the resolution, Be it resolved that Limerick Township recognizes the 30th anniversary of World Oceans Day on June 8 and supports national and international efforts to protect 30 per cent of the ocean by 2030, Tisdale confirmed that the council did pass a resolution to provide support for World Oceans’ Day’s 30th anniversary, which was put forward by Councillor Ingo Weise and seconded by Councillor Kim Carson.

Samantha Gibb, The Bancroft Times

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