Swimming with whale

Protecting ocean biodiversity is a global responsibility

In celebration of World Oceans Day, the Netherlands invites you to reflect on the importance of marine biodiversity and our collective responsibility to protect it. This year's theme, "Awaken New Depths" emphasises the critical role oceans play in sustaining life on Earth and the urgent need to address the threats they face.

The vital role of marine biodiversity

Our oceans teem with life, hosting an estimated 240,000 marine species with many more yet to be discovered. These ecosystems are vital to the health of our planet, providing oxygen, regulating climate, and supporting the livelihoods of billions of people. However, marine biodiversity is under severe threat from overfishing, pollution, habitat destruction, and climate change. The decline in populations of key species like sea turtles, sharks, and coral reefs has far-reaching consequences for the balance and health of ocean ecosystems.


The Netherlands' commitment to conservation

Recognising the intrinsic link between water and biodiversity, the Netherlands is actively involved in initiatives to protect and restore marine life. Our efforts include sustainable fisheries management, reducing plastic pollution through initiatives like the Plastic Pact, and investing in the restoration of coastal habitats. These actions are essential for maintaining the resilience of our oceans and ensuring the long-term survival of marine species.


Whales: guardians of the ocean

Whales, as the largest inhabitants of our oceans, play a pivotal role in maintaining ecological balance. They regulate food chains, promote healthy populations of marine organisms, and contribute to nutrient cycling. Additionally, whales are crucial in the global carbon cycle, storing large amounts of CO2 in their bodies. When they die, this carbon sinks to the ocean floor, mitigating climate change.

Despite their importance, whales face numerous threats. Bycatch, ship collisions, habitat loss, and climate change pose significant risks to their populations. To address these challenges, the Netherlands, in collaboration with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF NL) and other partners, is working to safeguard whale migration routes, known as Blue Corridors. These efforts aim to ensure safe passage for whales, enhancing marine biodiversity and ecosystem health.


International collaboration for a sustainable future

Ensuring rich wildlife populations and working with nature is key in tackling climate change and ensuring a liveable future for people and planet. And just like us, WWF Netherlands believes that the way forwards relies on international collaboration. Through the Regional Leatherback Action Plan, WWF has brought together countries in the Northwest Atlantic region to reverse the severe decline of leatherback turtles in the region and steer the species to recovery.

Co-founders of the “Room for the River” programme, WWF believes in working with nature and not against it. An approach adopted by the Netherlands for decades. Forests, grasslands, oceans and rivers are all key for a stable climate and the absorption of CO2. Protecting coastal areas with mangrove forests and coral reefs helps shield us from extreme weather conditions in changing climates, while flowing rivers and floodplains protect us against flooding. These solutions are only possible if we respect, appreciate and protect nature. Ensuring rich wildlife populations in these natural areas is an non-negotiable in tackling climate change and ensuring a liveable future for people and planet.


Join us in taking action

As we mark World Oceans Day, let us reflect on the condition of our oceans and the steps we can take to protect them. It is the opportune moment for the global community to set clear goals and commitments for ocean conservation. Because time is running out.

The Netherlands is working with international partners to ensure a sustainable future for our oceans. We invite you to join us in this vital mission. Are you ready to take #WaterAction and contribute to the protection of our planet's most precious resource?

Together, we can make a difference. Let’s celebrate the beauty and importance.


World Oceans Day is a global event celebrated annually on June 8th to raise awareness about the vital role of the oceans in our everyday lives and to inspire action for their protection and sustainable management.

Get in touch and join us

Want to know more about how you can work together with the Netherlands to achieve your goals? Or how you can help contribute to or spread the word on campaigns, events and initiatives? Contact us directly at info@nlplatform.nl so we can help you connect to the right people.