Ocean is a continuous body of salt water and our planet’s largest ecosystem.It stabilizes the climate, stores carbon, nurtures marine biodiversity and directly supports human well-being through food and energy resources, as well as providing cultural and recreational services.

To protect the ocean means sharing our knowledge to saveit and give the future generation a sustainable world. The oceans are now seriously degrading and actions can only be effective if based on sound knowledge informed by science.

The month of May is “Month ofthe Ocean’’ recognizing the responsibility of the state to protect the nation’s marine wealth through Presidential Proclamation No. 57 signed by then President Joseph Estrada on December 11, 1998.

May is the peak fishing season in the country and the observance encourage people to show their support for caring the oceans.

This year’s theme is inspired by the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development –“The Science We Need for the Ocean We Want” giving a hope to increase appreciation on what science can do to protect our oceans and convey these learnings to our fellow citizen.

There is an increasing need to find scientific solutions that allow us to understand the changes taking place in our ocean and to reverse its disastrous effects. Ocean science made great progress over the last century in exploring, describing, understanding and enhancing our ability to predict changes in the ocean system.

In the upcoming decade, we have an opportunity to harness advances in ocean science to achieve a better understanding of the ocean system. This will enable the delivery of timely information about the state of the ocean, and will allow us to define interconnected scenarios and pathways for sustainable development.

Ocean science helps us to address impacts from climate change, marine pollution, ocean acidification, loss of marine species and degradation of marine and coastal environments. To achieve sustainable development, good science is needed to inform policies, increase the knowledge of all stakeholders and deliver solutions to address the decline in ocean health.

It is important to understand and beat marine pollution by protecting and restoring ecosystems and biodiversity. It has benefits such as sustainably feeding the global population by providing food supply and helps develop an equitable ocean economy.

Ocean science aims to a healthy and resilient ocean where marine ecosystems are mapped and protected. It also aims to be a predictablewhere society has the capacity to understand current and future ocean conditions and a transparent one with open access to data, information and technologies.

It also intends to have a safe ocean where people are protected from ocean hazards and to unlock ocean-based solutions to climate change.

“In this COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need to support the health and well-being of people in the community. We rely to the ocean for food security thus it is important to know it well and be able to take care of it for the present and future generation,” said Francisco E. Milla, Jr.

Clean Water and Enhanced Biodiversity Conservation are among the top ten priority programs and project of the DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu./DENR6