Connect with us

Published

on

World Ocean Day is celebrated every 8 June as a reminder of how integral our seas are to life on Earth.

A United Nations initiative, Oceans Day was first declared in 1992 following the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, also known as the Earth Summit, which led to important climate change goals.

In 2008, 8 June was officially designated as World Ocean Day, with a different theme each year.

What is World Ocean Day?

The day is an opportunity to raise global awareness of the benefits humans get from the ocean and our individual and collective duty to use its resources sustainably.

It is also a chance to celebrate and appreciate what the ocean provides, from the oxygen we breathe to the inspiration it provides artists.

Why does World Ocean Day matter?

More on Daily Climate Show

Oceans cover more than 70% of the planet, produce at least 50% of the world’s oxygen, are home to most of the Earth’s biodiversity and are the main source of protein for more than a billion people.

They also absorb about 30% of carbon dioxide produced by humans – a buffer for the detrimental impacts of global warming.

The UN hopes World Ocean Day will help inform the public of human actions on the ocean and develop a worldwide movement to protect it and unite the world in sustainably managing the oceans.

The world's oceans are home to most of the earth's biodiversity
Image:
The world’s oceans are home to most of the Earth’s biodiversity

What is this year’s theme and what are they hoping to achieve?

The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods is 2021’s World Ocean Day theme.

By 2030, an estimated 40 million people will be employed by ocean-based industries.

But the UN says we are taking more from the ocean than can be replenished, with 90% of big fish populations currently depleted and 50% of coral reefs destroyed.

It says a new balance must be created, “rooted in true understanding of the ocean and how humanity relates to it”.

The aim of the day is to build a connection to the ocean that is “inclusive, innovative and informed by lessons from the past”.

Why is this year particularly important?

It is vital to help protect the ocean every day, but this World Ocean Day comes in the year that the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development begins.

From 2021 to 2030, efforts are being made to use our current knowledge of the oceans better to help politicians and decision-makers choose the best options to save oceans and measure the possible consequences of policies.

Workers offload tuna from a fishing boat in Port Victoria
Image:
90% of big fish populations are currently depleted, the UN says

The decade is also aimed at supporting a sustainable Blue Economy, sharing the responsibility of protecting oceans and at bolstering scientific research and technologies.

It is all part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by all UN members to end poverty and other deprivations, reduce inequality, spur economic growth, tackle climate change and preserve our oceans and resources.

Who can get involved?

Everyone!

Science centres, research institutes, governments, NGOs, businesses and communities all around the world are planning local and global events involving millions of people.

But you do not have to be part of a group to get involved.

World Ocean Day is happening virtually for the second year in a row, thanks to the pandemic, meaning anyone can sign up to hear talks.

Last year, 350,000 people watched the programme, while 60 million people were talking about it on social media.

Face mask on beach
Image:
Lockdowns around the world have not stopped pollution in our seas

There will be a wide range of more than 40 people talking, including UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, actor and environmentalist Gael Garcia Bernal, PhD marine biology student Nicole Yamase, ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau, actor and oceans activist Sam Waterstone and Marisa Drew, chief sustainability officer at Credit Suisse.

Events start at 10am EST (3pm UK time) and will end with a virtual Concert for the Ocean from 4.10pm EST (9pm UK time).

You can sign up for the events here.

The Daily Climate Show

Sky News has launched the first daily prime time news show dedicated to climate change.

The Daily Climate Show is broadcast at 6.30pm and 9.30pm Monday to Friday on Sky News, the Sky News website and app, on YouTube and Twitter.

Hosted by Anna Jones, it follows Sky News correspondents as they investigate how global warming is changing our landscape and how we all live our lives.

Continue Reading

World

Strikes on energy mean Ukraine is facing its toughest 125-day wintertime in post-Soviet history, energy boss Maksym Timchenko says

Published

on

By

Strikes on energy mean Ukraine is facing its toughest 125-day wintertime in post-Soviet history, energy boss Maksym Timchenko says

This winter will be the toughest in Ukraine’s history as an independent state as Russia targets power and water supplies, worsening the impact of the war, an energy boss has said.

But Maksym Timchenko told Sky News that Moscow will fail to turn out the lights for too long with its missile strikes because of his country’s ability to repair the damage quickly.

The chief executive of DTEK, the largest private Ukrainian energy firm, predicted that people will endure the next 125 days of wintertime “as brave Ukrainians” despite the threat of new Russian attacks against the energy grid.

“We will survive and we will win,” he said.

Image:
Maksym Timchenko, DTEK chief executive

Workers from DTEK as well as Ukrenergo, the national electricity company, have mobilised – at great personal risk – to repair power stations, substations and other parts of the network that have been targeted by Russian airstrikes since October in a new energy frontline.

“This has the same importance for Ukrainian victories as the military frontline,” Mr Timchenko said.

Four of his employees have so far been killed on duty since Russia launched its full-scale war in February. Three died in rocket strikes and the fourth was killed by a mine.

More on Ukraine

“I’m so grateful to our people… who work in this industry,” he said. “These are real heroes and will stay in the history of Ukraine forever.”

With Russia thought already to have bombed more than a third of Ukraine’s energy system, the boss of DTEK predicted the coming months would be the harshest since at least 1991 when Ukraine gained its independence from the then Soviet Union.

“I can say with full confidence [it] will be the most difficult winter because we have never seen such destruction, such behaviour of our enemy, and we never lived under such conditions – constant rocket attacks and destruction and damage and explosions,” he said.

Equally, “I have full confidence that we will cope”.

Electricity & Drones
Image:
Engineers are working constantly to repair Ukraine’s power network

READ MORE: Ukraine war latest – Putin spy chief meets CIA over nuclear threat

Mr Timchenko said all six of his company’s thermal power stations had been hit, some of them several times, but they were all back up and running.

“In this fight, you learn a lot: how to restore power supply; how to restore the system; what creative technical solutions can be found so that we bring back our power stations,” he said.

“I have a strong belief that there is no chance that a complete blackout can continue for a long time so that people cannot live.”

But he appealed to the international community for more electrical transformers to assist with efforts to reconnect the grid. “Today, equipment is more important than money for us.”

Electricity & Drones
Image:
Vasyl Timoshchuk is one of the electrical engineers risking his life to repair Ukraine’s infrastructure

A major attack on 23 November knocked power out across much of the country for tens of millions of people. Even many homes in the capital Kyiv were without electricity and water for at least 48 hours – the worst impact of Russia’s new tactic so far.

Read more: Striking satellite image reveals extent of Ukraine’s power shortage after Russian missile strikes

However, Mr Timchenko said despite the damage, it had been possible to retrieve power supplies. “Now we start this countdown of the winter season – 125 days – and trust me, we will get through these 125 days as brave Ukrainians,” he said.

In one home on the outskirts of Kyiv, a couple in their 70s said they would never give up no matter how long they must go without electricity and running water.

Liubov Sudakova and Volodymyr Sudakov
Image:
Liubov Sudakova and Volodymyr Sudakov

Liubov Sudakova and Volodymyr Sudakov are lucky because they have a log stove that keeps the house warm when the power is out. They have also stocked up on food – potatoes and other vegetables – grown in their garden.

“We just need the bombs to stop falling,” said Liubov. “When bombs were flying in the summer… I was in my garden and heard this ‘woosh’ and later boom. So that was scary.”

Continue Reading

World

Pele: Brazil football legend back in hospital as he fights cancer

Published

on

By

Pele: Brazil football legend back in hospital as he fights cancer

Brazilian football legend Pele is back in hospital, according to his daughter.

But in an Instagram post, Kely Nascimento also said there was “no emergency”, as he continues to fight colon cancer.

She said he had been admitted so that doctors could regulate his medication.

She wrote: “Lots of alarm in the media today concerning my dad’s health. He is in the hospital regulating medication.

“There is no emergency or new dire prediction. I will be there for New Years and promise to post some pictures.”

Pele's daughter said her father was 'recovering well and within normal range'. Pic: Instagram/Kely Nascimento
Image:
Pele and his daughter in September 2021. Pic: Instagram/Kely Nascimento

The football star had a tumour removed from his colon in September 2021 and has since been in and out of hospital for treatment on a regular basis.

ESPN is reporting the 82-year-old had been admitted to Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo with “general swelling” and was having cardiac issues.

More on Brazil

And medics were concerned that chemotherapy treatment was not having the expected results.

Pele is to have further tests for a more in-depth assessment of his health issues, it added.

His manager and the hospital did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Pele is arguably the greatest footballer of all time.

He burst on to the global scene as a 17-year-old at the 1958 World Cup, helping Brazil to the first of their record five successes.

Pele celebrates after scoring at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. Pic: Reuters/Action Images/Sporting Pictures
Image:
Pele celebrates after scoring at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. Pic: Reuters/Action Images/Sporting Pictures

Injury affected Pele’s contribution to the 1962 and 1966 finals, but he led Brazil to a third triumph, this time in Mexico in 1970 as part of what is widely regarded as the greatest international team of all time.

Brazil‘s leading scorer, with 77 goals in 92 matches for his country, he embodied the idea of football as “the beautiful game”, one played with skill, speed and imagination.

There is much dispute over the number of goals overall he scored during his career, which Guinness World Records puts at 1,279.

However, critics believe that figure is too high, boosted by hundreds scored in friendlies and practice matches.

Including those, he scored at almost a goal a game throughout his 22-year career.

Others put his total at 757 goals, although his main club, Santos, says his tally was closer to 1,000.

In 2013, he was awarded the FIFA Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur (award of honour) in recognition of his career and achievements.

Continue Reading

World

Man arrested over mass drowning of migrants in English Channel fighting extradition to France

Published

on

By

Man arrested over mass drowning of migrants in English Channel fighting extradition to France

An alleged ringleader of a people smuggling gang, accused of sending more than 30 migrants to their deaths in the English Channel, is fighting extradition to France.

Harem Abwbaker, a UK asylum seeker, is said to have charged the migrants $3,200 (£2,680) each for the trip in November last year.

Appearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, the 32-year-old was accused of putting them in a badly-designed boat with inadequate navigation or life-saving equipment.

When the boat deflated and sank in darkness two hours after leaving France – and all but two on board drowned – he allegedly offered their relatives money to keep quiet.

French authorities outline allegations

Two migrants survived and identified Abwbaker as the ‘right-hand man’ of the gang’s leader, according to an extradition warrant issued by the French authorities.

The document also claims he personally helped the migrants on to the boat and electronic data showed his mobile phone was at the launch site on the French coast.

The warrant states the migrants were powerless to respond to an emergency, and “had no chance of facing any event at sea,” Prosecutor Michael McHardy told Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Harem Ahmed Abwbaker. Pic: National Crime Agency
Image:
Harem Abwbaker was arrested in Cheltenham. Pic: National Crime Agency

Suspect wants to prove ‘innocence’

Abwbaker, a Kurd, was arrested in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, on Tuesday morning. In court he gave his address as the town’s Ramada Hotel.

He sat in the dock in jeans and a grey sweatshirt, scratching his beard during the 30-minute hearing.

Asked if he agreed to be extradited, he said through an interpreter: “If I return now, how can I come back once I’ve proved my innocence? What you’re talking about is my life and my freedom.”

Judge Paul Goldspring said: “It’s clear he’s not consenting.”

Read more:
French government will investigate worst-ever Channel migrant disaster

It’s previously been reported that 27 bodies were recovered the day after the boat sank and four migrants were still missing.

According to the extradition warrant, the French Navy recovered 25 bodies.

This is what remains of the boat that capsized in the Channel and resulted in the deaths of 27 people
Image:
The remains of the boat which capsized in the English Channel in November 2021

Abwbaker did not ask for bail and was remanded in custody ahead of an extradition hearing in April. He will appear in court again for a preliminary hearing on 29 December.

Continue Reading

Trending