To celebrate World Oceans Day, thousands of in-person and virtual events are happening around the world today organized by the World Ocean Day Youth Advisory Council and The Ocean Project. The main theme of the coordinated events this year is to raise awareness and support for the global movement to protect at least 30 per cent of the world's lands, waters and ocean by 2030, in a campaign called 30x30. Safeguarding at least 30 per cent of the Earth’s resources through a network of highly protected areas can help ensure a healthy ocean and climate, the organisers said.

"It’s so inspiring to see so many youth change-makers from around our blue planet that share the same passions and ideas that I do, and more importantly, a burning and unquenchable desire for improvement," said Natalie Ashkar, a World Ocean Day Youth Advisory Council representative from Lebanon.

Only 7 per cent of our ocean is currently protected, while top scientists say we need half of the planet in its natural state to prevent the extinction of one million species, stay below 1.5°C, and safeguard all people that rely on nature to survive and thrive.

"We can start by protecting 30 per cent by 2030. But it is not enough to just have scientists call for it. We need people to come together from all over the planet and call for urgent action."

To show their support, individuals and organizations are being encouraged to sign the 30x30 petition.

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"Young people have an important part to play in ensuring a sustainable future for our planet’s ocean," said Belinda Ng, a World Ocean Day Youth Advisory Council representative from Hong Kong. "With the hard work of the Council members alongside passionate young people from all over the world, I am hopeful and optimistic about the future."

The Youth Advisory Council, with 25 members aged 16-23 from 20 countries, convenes to provide new perspectives, ideas and recommendations for rallying the world for ocean and climate conservation.

"It’s extremely encouraging to see how many in person and online events are taking place this year to celebrate our one shared ocean," said Emma Shahabi, World Ocean Day Coordinator. "More people and organisations than ever before are coming together globally to support protecting at least 30 per cent of the Earth’s land and ocean by the year 2030. Together we can make a difference!"

Sign the petition: https://www.campaignfornature.org/petition/?WOD

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