“World Oceans Day”
National Institute of Maritime Affairs (NIMA), in collaboration with National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) organized a webinar on the occasion of World Ocean Day 2020. The theme was “Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean,” a follow up to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which is supposed to run from 2021 to 2030. The decade is anticipated by experts to strengthen international cooperation to develop the scientific research and innovative technologies that can connect ocean science with the needs of society. The event shed light on the developments in the region and Pakistan in particular. The panelists also discussed the innovative practices from around the globe. Large number of attendees from academia, foreign policy experts, university students, government departments, and think tanks actively participated in the webinar.
The webinar was attended by government officials, experts, academicians, NGOs and members of the maritime community. In his opening remarks, Mr. Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, IUCN Country Representative welcomed Representative of the World Bank and a large number of representatives of the NGOs and Civil Society Organizations to the webinar. He pointed out that the Pakistan has extended its limit to 50,000 square miles but the budgetary provision has not been increased accordingly. He emphasized on developing partnerships to achievement the Sustainable Development Goals. Dr. Nuzhat Khan, Director General, National Institute of Oceanography said that oceans are facing threat in the form of ocean degradation, climate change and acidification. She further said that Ocean Pollution has always been a problem and human activities are primarily responsible for it. Commodore (Retd) Ali Abbas SI(M), Director, National Institute of Maritime Affairs (NIMA) Karachi appreciated the efforts of Pakistan Navy towards blue economy. Talking about the importance of oceans he said that “It is home to a majority of the animal species on earth.” He said that the significance of the day has two aspects: first is to know what is the importance of oceans and the other is to assess as how much harm has incurred to a great source of oxygen. Most of the participants emphasized on the need for ecotourism in the country and discussed issues pertaining to the maritime tourism industry in Pakistan. Besides, some of the participants urged that the process of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in the country be expedited. In order to raise awareness and mobilize civil society regarding the state of the Ocean, NIMA organized a social media campaign and recorded video messages featuring Director NIMA Karachi and Islamabad for broadcasting on BU TV and NIMA’s social media. A written message of DG NIMA was also uploaded on social media. Additionally, posters were developed for Facebook and Twitter pages sharing facts and figures regarding the vitality of the ocean.
Vice Admiral (Retd) Abdul Aleem HI(M) DG NIMA in his message on World Ocean Day mentioned that our oceans are both; the source and the sustainer of all form of life on Earth. As humans, we have an essential relationship with the oceans. They not only provide us, food, means for travel and trade but; are also the most popular destinations for recreation. Hence, oceans are imperative to keep the world livable.