World Ocean Day

The 2019 edition of World Oceans Day 2019 (WOD) was launched in Kingston, Jamaica, on 7 June with the International Seabed Authority (ISA) Open Day, held in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT) of Jamaica and the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU).

Almost 200 participants, including Permanent Representatives of ISA and representatives of UN agencies, along with students and teachers from 10 high schools and the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC) gathered at the Jamaica Conference Centre to commemorate WOD, which is marked every year on June 8 to celebrate the major role Oceans play, and the progress achieved in the sustainable management of their activities and resources.

Students from across the country delivered creative interventions as part of the Open Day, which also marked the 25th Anniversary of ISA, including poems, songs and essays.

In his welcome remarks, Mr. Michael W. Lodge, ISA Secretary-General highlighted ISA’s commitment to protecting the Ocean as part of its key role in managing mineral deposits in the international deep seabed area.

“ISA is responsible for taking care of all the seabed that is not owned by individual countries, which represents approximatively 54 per cent of the world ocean,” said Mr. Lodge. “This includes the deepest parts of the ocean where valuable resources such as minerals – copper, cobalt and nickel can be found. Our job is to make sure that these resources – which will be important in the future – are used sustainably and for the benefit of all humanity.”

Speaking on behalf of Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ambassador Ann Scott, Under Secretary of the Multilateral Affairs Division, underlined the importance of improving gender representation in ensuring that more qualified women are given the opportunity to contribute to society.

“Gender equality should be an integral part of our efforts, and the Jamaica Government is committed to achieving gender equity, and in promoting the balance between men and women in maritime sectors,” said Ambassador Scott. “Many achievements have been made, including the appointment first female commanding officer of the Jamaican Defence Force Coastal Guard.”

In his presentation, Ambassador Schmillen, Vice President of Global Affairs and Executive Director of the Centre for Blue Economy and Innovation at CMU highlighted the importance of Oceans to sustainable development.

“Oceans provide a wide range of values, from food to tourism” he said. “It is a pleasure to be part of this celebration. This event is an opportunity for realizing importance of healthy, productive oceans and I congratulate ISA on its 25th Anniversary.”

World Oceans Day was first introduced in 1992 to raise awareness of the crucial role the sea plays as sources of food, oxygen and medicine. It was officially recognized by the UN in 2008 and catalysed action worldwide.

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For media enquiries, please contact:
Ms. Katie Elles, Communications Specialist, International Seabed Authority M: +1 (876) 835 3801/ E: