World Oceans Day, Time to Clean Up Garbage in Bali's Most Polluted River

2911854059 Illustration of marine debris. Photo by: AFP/aawsat.com

Date: June 9, 2022

June 8 is celebrated as World Ocean Day. The celebration aims to respect, protect and preserve oceans around the world, including from the problem of plastic waste.

The ocean provides us with many resources such as oxygen, climate regulation, food sources, medicine, and many others. According to the UN World Ocean's Day website, the theme for World Oceans Day 2022 is Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean.

This year's theme is a campaign so that people around the world come together to raise awareness about the ocean and ocean cleanliness. World Oceans Day also reminds everyone of the major role the oceans play in everyday life.

The oceans are the lungs of our planet and a major source of food and medicine and an important part of the biosphere. We must find alternative methods to dispose of plastic waste, as well as reduce our own consumption of fish. Plastic waste is also a thorny problem in Indonesia, including in Bali.

The elimination of Bali from the list of the 10 most popular tourist destinations in the world this year, has made many people question the cause. In Trip Advisor's Traveler Choice Award list in 2021, Bali is in first place, but this year it's not even in the Top 10 list.

Reportedly, one of the causes is the problem of waste, especially plastic waste. The problem of waste in Bali has long been a concern of Sungai Watch, a non-profit organization that aims to tackle the problem of waste, especially plastic, in Indonesian rivers.

Quoting the VOA Indonesia page, Tuesday, June 7, 2022, the founder of Sungai Watch is Gary Bencheghib, a man who has lived in Bali for 18 years. Bencheghib emphasized that the garbage found on many beaches in Bali was actually sent from rivers that flowed into the sea, and not merely because of the bad habit of disposing of garbage among people who often visit the beach or use the beach as a source of livelihood. .

Polluting Rivers and Seas
Therefore, according to him, it is important to overcome the habit of people throwing garbage in the river. Sungai Watch has been involved in tackling the waste problem in Bali for more than a year.

However, Bencheghib admitted, his organization's contribution is relatively very small compared to the amount of waste produced in Bali every year. In their latest upload on June 7, 2022, they shared a video while cleaning up trash in the Pesanggaran River area, South Denpasar.

The river that leads to the mangrove area and empties into the sea is considered one of the most polluted rivers in Bali. In the video, people can be seen standing steady on a pile of garbage that clogs the flow of the river. Its hidden location makes it escape the attention of Balinese people.

"This river can be called a garbage river because it is full of garbage. There needs to be cooperation between residents and the village or provincial government to deal with the garbage problem here," said a worker as he carried garbage in the river.

Sungai Watch said that one of the main steps to prevent garbage from polluting Bali's oceans is to intercept it in the river. Currently, 140 river barriers have been installed in Bali and it is targeted that 1,000 similar devices can be installed throughout Indonesia and upcycle the waste that has been collected from rivers.'

Earth Oxygen
World Oceans Day was first celebrated in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the United Nations (United Nations) conference. The idea for World Oceans Day came from a delegation from Canada at the conference. However, the United Nations has just officially designated June 8 as World Oceans Day in 2009.

The oceans cover about 70 percent of the earth's surface, including plants, animals, and other organisms. The ocean area provides 50 percent of the earth's oxygen. The United Nations recognizes the important contribution of sustainable development and the management of resources and use of the oceans to the achievement of international development goals, including those contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration.

Through Resolution 63/111 of 5 December 2008, the United Nations General Assembly designated 8 June as World Oceans Day. His commemoration began a year later on June 8, 2009.

Meanwhile, UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) actively sponsors the World Oceanic Network. Since 2002, UNESCO has been instrumental in building support to make June 8th World Oceans Day.

Disposable Plastic
"The sea is home to most of the biodiversity on earth. We as humans must create a new balance and build relationships that are inclusive, innovative, and beneficial for the sea and the life in it," wrote the @kemnterianlhk account.

To reduce the impact of climate change we can reduce our carbon footprint by using public transportation as well as turning off lights, air conditioners, and other electronic items that are not in use. Stop using single-use plastic, always bring a water bottle and shopping bag. If you're on vacation at the beach, don't litter or even pick up the plastic waste you see there.

There are various activities that can be done to celebrate world ocean day around the world. These activities generally take the form of teleconferences related to sea days, film screenings, beach cleaning events and many more.

There are many simple steps you can take to reduce the amount of single-use plastic waste. You can switch from single-use plastic bags to reusable ones, or stop using single-use plastic cups, plates; cutlery and bottles and prefer to bring their own food supplies.

You can also volunteer to spend the day with friends who really clean the ocean. This is hard work, but it is important to do it to prevent debris from entering the waterways and into the ocean.

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