World Oceans Day 2019

In recognition of World Oceans Day, which falls on 8 June, President Doumbia-Henry provided a video message for the World Oceans Day celebrations held at the United Nations. This year’s theme is “Gender and Oceans”, which echoes the International Maritime Organizations’ World Maritime Day 2019 Theme “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community.”

In her video address, President Doumbia-Henry stated that gender equality is central to the mission of WMU and to all aspects of our daily lives. Further, she stated that at this transformative time in human history, it is more important than ever that we understand our impact on the oceans to anticipate future challenges and work together to address and mitigate them. “Our educational offerings and research focus are cutting-edge and cover a broad range of ocean challenges. We serve as a powerful convener of stakeholders from government, industry, and civil society who must come together in order to govern and safeguard our ocean. WMU stands ready and committed to work with all of our partners globally to support its journey to educate the maritime and ocean leaders and professionals of today and tomorrow, and especially to strengthen the role of women in the maritime and ocean sectors and lead for change,” she stated.

In support of Gender and Oceans, the WMU Empowering Women in the Maritime Community Conference took place from 4-5 April bringing together over 350 participants from more than 70 countries to address the gender gap in the maritime, oceans, ports, fishing and related industries. The inspirational event identified opportunities to encourage women to pursue careers in the maritime and ocean sectors, and called for action from maritime and other stakeholders in support of achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular Goal 5 related to gender equality, as a cross-cutting theme. The set of conclusions resulting from the Conference is evidence of WMU’s proactive and targeted action towards empowerment of women in the shipping and maritime industry.

In addition, through the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute (GOI) that was established in 2018, the Government of Canada has provided funding for a WMU Ph.D. Scholarship and Post-Doctoral Fellowship Programme on Gender Empowerment in support of the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development through research, education and capacity building. The deadline to apply is 30 June 2019.

Honoring World Oceans Day, WMU students will again this year, join forces with the City of Malmö and the SEA-U Marine Science Center on cleaning up Malmö's coastline for World Oceans Day. Equipped by the organizers with bags and gloves, on 8 June from 8-10 am, volunteers will gather to remove debris from six different locations along the coast (västra hamnen, kallbadhuset, handikappbadet, marinepedagogist center, glasbrukskajen and Limnhamns småbåtshamn).

The United Nations celebrates World Oceans Day annually on 8 June as an opportunity to raise global awareness of the benefits humankind derives from the ocean and our individual and collective duty to use its resources sustainably. A healthy world ocean is critical to our survival. Since its founding, WMU has contributed to sustainable use of the ocean by focusing on the implementation and enforcement of IMO instruments to reduce accidents and ship-source pollution. Building on this strong foundation, ocean-related matters have become part of WMU’s mandate and are now incorporated across all degree programmes.

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