President calls for urgent defence and conservation of the oceans

in News · 08-06-2020 14:25:00 · 0 Comments

The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, on 8 June urged all citizens to contribute to the defence and conservation of the oceans, which he considered to be a purpose of Portugal.

The head of state made this appeal in a message posted on the Presidency of the Republic's website, to mark World Oceans Day.

"The current situation in the fight against Covid-19 cannot in any way take us away from our commitment to our seas, a common heritage of humanity. It is an imperative of global citizenship. But it is also an imperative of national citizenship", defends Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

According to the President of the Republic, "Portugal, 'gore of land bordering the sea', as Miguel Torga called it, is in a privileged position to assert itself, in the coming years and in the coming decades, as a vanguard country in the defence and conservation of the oceans".

"We must start, right now, and urgently, to work towards the realisation of this collective design, which corresponds, moreover, to our maritime vocation of many centuries. In the oceans, in the Portuguese sea, the past meets the present, all the days", he maintains.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa asks citizens to commit themselves to this cause: "It is time to build the future together. In the name of the present, no doubt. But, above all, in the name of future generations. I urge all Portuguese, without exception, to give their contribution to this new maritime adventure that Portugal is faced with in its history".

"I am sure that everyone understands the scope of this call of mine. We will therefore start now, today [8 June], as today is World Oceans Day", he adds.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa says that World Oceans Day is celebrated annually "since 2008, thanks to a happy initiative taken by the United Nations, following the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development".

In May, during a visit to the Lisbon Oceanarium, the President of the Republic pointed out the so-called "blue economy" as a strategic challenge for Portugal, important for the economic recovery, but above all in the medium and long term.

"It is not by chance that we will have the United Nations conference on oceans in Portugal for the year, scheduled for this year and postponed due to the pandemic [of covid-19]. It is no accident that we have centres of excellence working in the field biodiversity, the richness of the oceans", he pointed out.

At the time, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa considered that "it is necessary to make an effort to take advantage of the time that goes until next year's conference, but far beyond it, so that Portugal assumes a leading role that vocationally can and should assume" in this matter.


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