Rio de Janeiro, Jun 8 (EFE).- Hundreds of people turned out on Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Copacabana beach on Wednesday to symbolically “embrace the sea,” an event staged simultaneously in Brazil; Lisbon, Portugal, and Miami, Florida, in commemoration of World Oceans Day.
Besides giving a gigantic embrace to the ocean with people stationed all along the nearly one kilometer (0.62 mile) Leme beach where the Copacabana strand begins, the volunteers participated in a day of cleaning up the more than four km of beachfront in Rio, one of Brazil’s tourist meccas.
The aim was to raise public awareness about the trash on the sands and to call on society to help preserve the oceans and coastal ecosystems.
According to the United Nations, ensuring the protection 30 percent of the world’s oceans and their biodiversity by 2030 would significantly aid the conservation of an ecosystem that covers more than 70 percent of the planet and on which more than a billion people depend for their livelihoods.
This is the second time that an event of this magnitude has been held in Brazil after the staging of a similar embrace-the-ocean celebration in 2019 when more than 15,000 people gathered along 18.3 km of the Barra de Tijuca and Recreio beaches, in western Rio, in what is considered to be the biggest-ever oceanic embrace.
The event on Wednesday was sponsored by Route Brasil, a non-governmental organization that pushes for preservation of the environment and works to find solutions to deal with the impact that mankind’s consumption has on nature.
The symbolic embrace came in the run-up to the 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference, to be held in Lisbon, Portugal, from June 27 through July 1 and where participants will discuss, among other things, the excessive urbanization of the world’s coastlines, overfishing, resource exploitation, pollution caused by plastic and other materials, maritime transport and submarine mining.