National Institute of Maritime Affairs (NIMA), Karachiorganized the celebrations of “World Ocean Day” on 8th June 2021, to raise global awareness of the vital importance of our oceans and the role they play in sustaining of a healthy planet.
The global theme of this year’s celebration is “The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods”; which sheds light on the wonder of the ocean and how it is our life source, supporting humanity and every other organism on earth. The oceans produce at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen, is home to most of earth’s biodiversity, nourishes billions of people and employs millions worldwide. Humanity’s interconnectivity to the ocean is core to our identities, cultures and ways of life.
In this regard, a virtual Maritime Discourse was arranged by NIMA to mark the occasion. During the discourse, maritime experts dilatedupon the importance of oceans and how billions of people rely on the ocean for their livelihoods.Vice Admiral (Retd) Abdul Aleem, Director General NIMA welcomed the participants and highlighted the importance of oceans to mankind. He said, that the main objective of observing the World Oceans Day is to mobilize and unite the global citizens to protect and sustain the World Oceans and to remind everyone of the major role the oceans have in everyday life.The ocean is the heart of our planet and its contributions to the society are countless. Oceans are the provider of food. They are the source of life for millions of biota, while they also remain the major source of food and medicines for humans. This year’s theme offers an opportunity to start a decade of challenges to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 14: “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources”.
Barrister Murtaza Wahab,Advisor to Chief Minister of Sindh on Law, Environment, Coastal Development & Climate Change was the Chief Guest on the occasion. During his address he said thatPakistan is blessed with over 1000 kms coast line and it is a our duty to keep our seas free from pollution and Government of Sindh is fully aware of this. He further said that government is keen to take measures to preserve our Oceanand the Sindh Govt has accordingly planned to install three sewerage treatment plants in Karachi. The first speaker Dr. Nuzhat Khan, Former DG of NIO, marine expert said, “Plastic pollution has a direct and deadly effect on ocean life, biodiversity and consequently on sociological and economic aspect of life. The second speaker on the occasion Dr. Tahir Rasheed, Director World Wildlife Fund and a marine expert also presented an informative talk on the occasion. He said, “history depicts that all the modern civilizations and urban developments in the world have always had a coastal community as its nucleus to start”.Ms. Naghmana Zafar, Senior researcher at NIMA was the third speaker: speaking on the occasion, she said, “the ocean health in Pakistan is critical and need special attention. Pakistan cannot achieve any objectives related to blue economy or sustainable development without ensuring healthy and protected oceans. She said, our maritime zones are vulnerable to many nontraditional and traditional threats and we need to work on war footing to ensure sustainability in maritime domain”. Dr. Samina Kidwai, DG NIO was the last speaker.While delivering an informative talk on the World Oceans Day she said, that National Institute of Oceanography is playing significant role in scientific research about oceans and seas. She further said, that NIO is the only institute in Pakistan which is capable of undertaking oceanographic ventures with joint support of Pakistan Navy.Admiral (Retd) Muhammad Zakaullah NI(M), former Chief of the Naval Staff speaking on the occasion as guest of honour, said that NIMA is playing a vital role forresearch and advocacy in maritime domain and it should become a focal point for collaboration with other such institutes in Pakistan. He further said that Government should install plastic recycling machines on beaches to reduce plastic pollution.
The event was attended by a large number of eminent personalities and domain experts, serving and retired naval personnel, Govt officials, faculty members, students and other maritime stakeholders. In the end the DG NIMA V/Adm (Retd) Abdul Aleem HI(M) thanked the chief guest, the speakers and participants for their participation.