World Ocean Day Celebrated in Mombasa, Kenya

On June 8th 2018, members from Eco-Ethics Kenya were able to support and attend World Oceans Day event in Mombasa. World Oceans Day is an international celebration of the oceans and their contribution to the functioning of society. In Mombasa, the event was organised by Kenya Fisheries in association with the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation and more organisations such as Eco-Ethics, CONTA, OMESA, etc.

The main slogan for this day was: “Preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a Healthy Ocean.” Therefore, there are two purposes for the event which feed off one another - solutions for a healthy ocean include preventing plastic pollution. Both of the goals should be done at a individual, local, and national level. Individuals should be empowered to be able to limit their consumption of plastic and have good waste management practices while also contributing to local government decisions to follow this which will then also inform national policies and government actions towards limiting plastic pollution and increasing sustainable solutions (as part of bigger national agendas such as Vision 2030).

The programme was littered with events that would allow people to empower themselves to contribute to a sustainable future. Firstly, there was the march from the Governor's’ office to the drive aimed to create mass awareness across Mombasa about the event and the importance of the day. This march was to be followed up by a clean up of Mama Ngina Drive, a mark of action and commitment for the cause and to clean oceans. The talks by key speakers was essential is showcasing how Kenya is moving towards a “Blue Economy.” This type of economy focuses on the sustainable use of the oceans for economic growth, and proposed by the World Bank Group in 2017. Both local and national speakers addressed the crowd about their commitment towards reducing plastic waste into the oceans and solution-based policies for cleaner oceans. Lastly, there were exhibitions by different organisations creating awareness of the different ways in which the oceans can be protected and the different effects of plastic pollution. These stalls encouraged people to become more engaged in the issue at hand and be more knowledgeable about ocean pollution which allows them to take effective action to limit their contribution to the degradation of the environment.

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