10.3 International Year of the Ocean (IYO), 1998

The United Nations declared 1998 as the International Year of the Ocean (IYO) in order to bring the issue of oceans and their key role in sustaining the delicate environmental balance and life on earth into sharp focus by bringing this on the agenda of governments, international organisations and common people. The Department of Ocean Development was the nodal agency implementing the various IYO activities in coordination with other ministries, institutions and organisations. This was marked by the signing of the Ocean Charter, not a legal document but symbolising the commitment of India to protect and preserve coastal and marine environment. So as to raise the awareness in the country regarding the vital role played by oceans in our lives, the following activities were undertaken during this period:

Twenty three million inland postal letters bearing a brief message of IYO, were printed in all regional languages and in Hindi and English. Also 50,000 stickers (with IYO themes) and `My Ocean Charter' copies were distributed to school children in all maritime states and Delhi.

A special supplement on `Oceans - Our Heritage' was published in the national daily, "The Hindu" on 24th July, 1998.

A national symposium on `Oceans - Our Heritage' was broadcast on All India Radio in August, 1998.

A panel discussion on `Oceans - The Common Heritage of the Mankind' was telecast on Doordarshan in September, 1998.

A special lecture by Dr. Gunnar Kullenberg, former Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission(IOC) on "Ocean Science and Technology-Emerging Opportunities" held at New Delhi in November, 1998.

A series of four lectures by H.E. Satyanandan, Secretary General, ISBA were held at Goa, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai in November, 1998.

A function to popularise the uses of ocean was held on 23rd November, 1998 at Port Blair, Andamans involving school children.