Background Image

World Radio Day: Sharing information beyond the seas

Date: 13 February 2020

Paris, France - This Thursday 13 of February, Unesco is celebrating the ninth edition of World Radio Day, the day the United Nations radio was established in 1946. A great opportunity for the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission to launch a series of podcasts to raise global awareness of the current challenges faced by oceans.

Considered as the most popular media - 75% of households have access to a radio in developing countries; the radio provides a wide pf possibility to share real time and reliable information. Through programs, broadcasts and news, this communication tool is an inclusive platform allowing dialogue and democratic debate around sensitive subjects such as climate change, rising sea levels and risks associated with natural disasters.

Committed to share all the latest ocean news with the wider public, Unesco’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission made a series of podcasts providing better knowledge of the marine environment and the objectives of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

What are Oceans issues and threats?

Within the radio program produced at UNESCO headquarters “Many Voices, One World”, two experts were interviewed: they highlighted the need to promote a sustainable management of marine resources to achieve the objectives of Sustainable Development Goals fixed by the UN. Discover these inspiring interviews online:

More interviews will be released and shared this month!

Did you know that oceans are hosting data transmission?

It has been more than two centuries that data are travelling underwater using oceans to carry information. While traditional "tools such as the telephone and telegraph allowed communications over long distances, their use was only possible through wire-based electrical systems. The scope of the challenge ahead was clear: how human could transmit information across continents despite ocean space?

In 1838, first submarine cables were tested but failed to ensure the appropriate connection of information for being leaky and poorly isolated. It was not until 1851 that the first commercial submarine telegraph cable was developed under the Channel Tunnel (connecting England to northern France): the core of the cable was made with the gutta percha (a gum made from natural latex). 

This new ability to spread information has been quickly used by maritime and military organizations: at the beginning of the XXth century, thousands of submarine cables were in service around the world. This number constantly increased and recently reached 1.2 million kilometers: more than 99% of the world's data traffic are crossing seas and oceans (source: Telegeography)!

Find the latest news on UNESCO’s World Radio Day online.