Tanzania: Let Us Safeguard Ocean

THE planet has one global ocean, though oceanographers and the countries of the world have traditionally divided it into four distinct regions: the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Arctic oceans.

An estimated 97 per cent of the world’s water is found in the ocean. Because of this, the ocean has considerable impact on weather, temperature, and the food supply of humans and other organisms.

It is against this background there must be commitment to preserving the world’s ocean and combating climate change, because the ocean sustains everybody. A greener, resilient maritime sector is essential for the needs of future generations, as the sector underpins all sustainable development.

On Thursday, the world marked the ‘World Ocean Day’, with an international theme ‘Planet Ocean: Tides Are Changing’, whereby people around the blue planet celebrate and honor the one shared ocean, that connects all.

As for the ocean, the regulatory framework must be fair, and must ensure no one is left behind as the industry moves towards even greener operations. Marine pollution is a transboundary problem.

The threats from certain types of pollution, such as marine plastic pollution, are seen at global scales and the impacts from this pollution, coupled with climate change, create an increasing threat for marine biodiversity, ecosystems, and consequently human wellbeing. It is our ocean, our responsibility and ultimately our future.

As well directed by the Vice-President, Dr Philip Mpango on Thursday, ministries and

communities should work together to safeguard the ocean for future generations. If

effective measures are not taken now, especially to control plastic waste pollution, the sea will be burdened by 2050. It is pertinent to heed Dr Mpango’s directive by forging new partnerships, combining diverse perspectives, knowledge, and resources to protect the ocean for future generations.

Reducing marine debris in the oceans is a key target under the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14. Together, people should help shipping and fisheries move to a low-plastics future. That can be done by identifying opportunities to prevent and reduce marine litter, including plastic litter, from within the maritime transport and fisheries sectors, and to decrease the use of plastics, including identifying opportunities to re-use and recycle plastics.

The success in protecting and conserving the ocean and its resources will be based on the ability to deal with emerging challenges. As Dr Mpango rightly put it, the Ministry of State