News World Ocean Day - A Call to Action from World Sailing to the Global Sailing Community

World Ocean Day - A Call to Action from World Sailing to the Global Sailing Community

“The time to act is now!”

As IODA celebrates our 50th Anniversary as a World Sailing International Class and to mark the 2023 World Ocean Day, we ask that our IODA Members and Optimist family of sailors, parents, coaches, and builders to support World Sailing’s call to action – “The time to act is now” – and support the ‘One Blue Voice’ petition for a Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights to be presented to the UN General Assembly members in September 2023.

The campaign by World Sailing Special Event The Ocean Race asks members of the public to show their support for a Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights. And on World Ocean Day – held annually on 8 June – World Sailing is urging everyone in the global sailing community to add their voices to the cause. 

Alexandra Rickham, World Sailing’s Head of Sustainability, said, “The time to act is now – the global sailing community must add its chorus to One Blue Voice.  

“As sailors we are uniquely placed to see the daily damage done to our oceans. And, as sailors, it is our duty to do all we can to protect the health of our oceans. 

“World Sailing has a comprehensive 56-point Sustainability Agenda which outlines how we will contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. World Ocean Day offers the entire sport an opportunity to reflect on our progress and assess what more we can do to look after the seas. Member National Authorities (MNAs), class associations, sailing clubs, event organisers and sailors must work together to protect our oceans.” 

Held annually on 8 June, World Ocean Day unites a global network of youth and organisational leaders in over 150 countries by rallying the world to protect and restore our blue planet. 

For this year’s World Ocean Day, the Ocean Race has produced a special film to be released tomorrow, featuring several water sports world champions, including two of The Ocean Race sailors - Abby Ehler and Boris Herrmann - as well as Olympic gold medalist sailor Lily Xu Lijia, kitesurfing champion Mitu Monteiro, freediver Guillaume Nery and windsurfing champion Josh Angulo who have come together to talk about the ocean and ocean rights. 

What are ocean rights? 

‘Ocean rights’ means recognising the marine world’s right to thrive, by establishing the ocean as a legal entity. 

It is a global approach to looking after the seas that could help us to better protect them. Our sport depends on a healthy ocean. 

What is World Ocean Day? 

World Ocean Day was officially recognised by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2008. In 2022, more than 10,000 organisations and businesses coordinated over 15,000 events in 140+ countries.  

Aligned with World Sailing’s Sustainability Agenda 2030 is the World Ocean Day 30x30 campaign to protect 30% of the world’s ocean by 2030. Launched in 2020, the campaign has collected in excess of 70,000 individual signatures in support of safeguarding the health of the world’s oceans and helping to combat the effects of climate change. 

Let’s use our extensive Optimist Community from the last 50 years to join the rally and make a difference to the future of our oceans and our sport. 

Sign the petition ‘One Blue Voice’ today!