This week is a big week for oceans.
The world will be watching New York City as the UN hosts a number of events and a festival surrounding World Oceans Day on 8 June 2017.
Why is this so crucial? The oceans take up more than 70 percent of the world’s surface and 97 percent of the earth’s water comes from the oceans.
They provide life, food and water, absorbing pollution and keeping our air clean.
Crucially, oceans also provide a source of income and livelihoods for billions of people around the world.
We all depend on oceans in some form. Unfortunately, this life source is in grave danger.
This week the international community will converge at the UN’s Headquarters in New York to discuss the challenges we face and explore durable solutions with top experts.
The Ocean Conference will bring together a wide range of stakeholders – Member States, policymakers, the private sector, think tanks and academics, with the aim of building a common consensus on how we can slow down and stop the damage happening to the world’s oceans.
But the people we believe will make the biggest change are millennials. Why is this?
Millennials are the biggest generation our world has ever seen. They are hyper-connected via the intranet and social media, tech savvy and socially conscious. These younger generations have the power and the voice to make small and big changes.
They also have the biggest stake in the future of our planet.
This is why UNOPS is collaborating with We Are the Oceans.
By working with We Are the Oceans, we are reaching millennials on their terms and raising oceans on their priority list.
We are giving clear calls to action on how we as individuals can make small daily changes that result in a bigger impact.
The power of music is strong. Our finest moments in life are often enriched through music.
Calling for change in behaviour through the language of music and gaming gives us huge global reach. This is about connecting our daily lives to global solutions.
There are an astounding 2.1 billion gamers around the world today – that’s 50 percent of the world’s population! This is a huge demographic to solicit change.
Protecting our oceans will help us make a difference to life on land and, in turn, the crucial work and projects UNOPS implements in the communities that need it most.
Being on the front line, UNOPS has seen the devastating effects that climate change can wreak: rising sea levels and depleting marine life can have a tremendous impact on the lives of billions of people.
We are the people on the ground; but now we need the voices of those online to change their behaviour and to support communities through engaging with vital projects.
By joining the We Are the Oceans community, we are taking a first big step to action.
We are proud partners on the journey ahead.
Grete Faremo, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UNOPS