This week saw the celebration of World Oceans Day, an opportunity to reflect on what our oceans mean to us, and how to protect and conserve this resource.

First proposed by Canada in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the movement has grown in success from year to year, becoming an internationally recognised event.

Its purpose is to honor our oceans, the products it produces for our livelihood, as well as its beauty and intrinsic value to our planet. Working with over 1200 organisations throughout the world they endeavor to build greater awareness of the crucial role the oceans play in our lives, and the important ways we can help.

Events such as organised beach clean-ups and educational awareness are just two of the many activities undertaken. The theme for 2011 and 2012 World Oceans Day is Youth: the Next Wave for Change.

AfriOceans Conservation Alliance is one of these organisations in South Africa that seem to be making quite a splash.  According to Terry Corr, AfriOceans Head of Education:

At AfriOceans we believe that we need to give kids the time to connect with nature and love the Earth before we ask them to save it!

AfriOceans go on to say:

We collaborate with legal advisors, scientists, other non profit organisations, as well as specific government officials in the pursuit of lobbying for improved legislations and policies that provide meaningful marine conservation. We are well known for our ACTION approach in our pursuit of making a difference in conserving our precious marine resources.

In Zululand, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority got involved in World Ocean Day with 16 regional schools. iSimangaliso manages 9% of South Africa’s coastline, up to 5km out to sea.Through their Marine Environmental Education Programme 240 learners and teachers visited Mission Rocks and Sodwana Bay as part of the 2011 programme. Their aim is to create awareness regarding sustainable use of marine resources and the importance of conserving our marine heritage.

With the success of the 2011 campaign still fresh in our minds, let us cast our thoughts to 2012, and how we can be more actively involved in teaching our future custodians of our wonderful planet.

If you have any ideas or would like to get involved with us in doing something positive, drop us a line we would love to hear from you.

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