Preserve oceans for future: Mbumba

President Nangolo Mbumba said that all Namibians have a vital role in managing the ocean as catalysts of change to create a nexus between climate, nature and development.

Mbumba said this during the World Ocean’s Day celebration at Walvis Bay’s Independence Beach on Friday, which had the theme “Catalysing Action for Our Ocean and Climate.”

“Sadly, the ocean, upon which billions of people depend is under threat from climate change and the harmful activities of humans. Rising sea levels, ocean acidification, plastic pollution, illegal unreported and unregulated fishing practices are just a few of the challenges we face. It is therefore imperative that we take urgent action to address these issues before it is too late. By reducing carbon emissions, eradicating plastic pollution, and actively combating all forms of environmental degradation, we as Namibians, can give our ocean a breath of fresh air,” he said.

Mbumba stated that Namibia is finalising the Blue Economy Policy, which encompasses a Marine Spatial Plan and will be amplified further by developing a Sustainable Ocean Plan by 2025.

“It is therefore crucial that we safeguard our ocean from adverse impacts and that we apply a precautionary approach, at all times, towards activities that have a potential to cause harm to biodiversity. The important role the ocean plays in all our lives is highly indisputable. Therefore, the onus is on all of us to protect the ocean through hard work, vigilance, and dedication. Let us stand together today and in the days ahead to safeguard our oceans, for they are the lifeblood of our planet.

“Let the observance of World Ocean Day become a sacred day on which we all rededicate ourselves to partake in action aimed at preserving our ocean and ensuring that it remains healthy for sustenance of life on earth,” he added.

The ocean is responsible for producing more than 50% of the oxygen on Earth, and the blue economy has three pillars: environmental sustainability, economic sustainability, and social inclusion.

World Oceans Day was first proposed in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is celebrated every 8 June to honour, protect and conserve the world’s oceans.