Hurt not the earth, neither the sea nor the trees

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Archbishop of Constantinople began his message for World Oceans Day with a quote from the Book of Revelations (Rev. 7:3).

The theme of World Oceans Day, held on the 8th of June, is “Healthy oceans, healthy planet”. The day aims to draw attention to protecting one of our most important natural resources. In addition to providing the Earth’s oxygen supply, the oceans also play a key role in maintaining freshwater reserves and regulating the planet’s climate. This year’s central topic is the reduction of plastic pollution.

The Patriarch recalled the oceans’ alarming rate of acidification and the resulting accelerating destruction of marine wildlife. In his message, he emphasised that indifference towards the natural environment, towards creation is an infringement of human rights, as it jeopardises the most vulnerable among us, those who depend on the seas for their livelihood. Finally, he called upon global leaders to take action in order to comply with the norms adopted at the Paris Climate Summit and to ensure that development does not put the oceans and the safety of people at risk, so that we may protect the beauty and the integrity of God’s creation.

Sources: World Oceans Day, Ecumenical Patriarchate