2021 Theme: The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods
The ocean covers over 70% of the planet. It is our life source, supporting humanity’s sustenance and that of every other organism on earth. The ocean produces at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen, it is home to most of earth’s biodiversity, and is the main source of protein for more than a billion people around the world. Not to mention, the ocean is key to our economy with an estimated 40 million people being employed by ocean-based industries by 2030.
Humanity has defined itself through its relations with the oceans over time culturally, socially and economically. The ocean has become central to maintaining life and livelihoods in every respect. Nevertheless, we have yet to understand our impacts on this lifesource or to discover its interconnectivity beneath the surface.
What we do know is that the ocean is now in need of support. With 90% of big fish populations depleted, and 50% of coral reefs destroyed, we are taking more from the ocean than can be replenished. To protect and preserve the ocean and all it sustains, we must create a new balance, rooted in true understanding of the ocean and how humanity relates to it. We must build a connection to the ocean that is inclusive, innovative, and informed by lessons from the past.
In celebration and support of the life and livelihood that the ocean sustains, UNWOD 2021 will feature keynotes, panel discussions and presentations that spotlight biodiversity, latest oceanic discoveries, the interconnectivity between the ocean and its ecosystems, and more.