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Jakarta Post

Indonesia seeking to ensure ocean commitments realized

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    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta, Indonesia   /   Sat, October 27, 2018   /   01:00 pm
Indonesia seeking to ensure ocean commitments realized A Scene from underwater sea (Courtesy of Our Ocean Conference 2018/.)

Indonesia will push for the formulation of a system of a review mechanism to ensure that all commitments made by participants during the Our Ocean Conference (OOC) 2018 will be implemented.

“During the OOC 2018 we’ll formulate a system of a review mechanism to measure and control the realization of all commitments made by all participants. We don’t want talking but no concrete action. What have you delivered so far? This 5th OOC 2018 should be aimed at tracking delivery of those commitments,” Marine and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said recently in Jakarta.

During the last four conferences of the OOC, participants have made 663 commitments of which 206 commitments had been completed. The first and second OOC were hosted by the United States in 2014 and 2015. The third was hosted by Chile in 2016 and the fourth was hosted by Malta in 2017. After Indonesia hosts the OOC 2018, Norway will host the OOC 2019.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said on the part of the diplomatic front, when talking about oceans or other issues related to the ocean, Indonesia does not only talk about the interests of other countries, but surely about its own interest as well, which happens to be the international interest. “This is particularly important for Indonesia as a member of the G20 that should contribute to the world. We have proven our track record in human diplomacy. If there is any talk about peace, the name of Indonesia will come up. Now, we also want to invest in this ocean diplomacy. The OOC will be Indonesia’s concrete action to show our legacy, our ocean issues or our ocean-related issues,” Minister Retno said.

She said a country will be respected internationally based on its track record and contribution to global interests, including the interest of the world’s ocean.

She added that the OOC 2018 is not the only and first example of leadership for Indonesia in the issue of oceans and fisheries. In 2016, Indonesia also hosted the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA). Indonesia is also a member of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS). 

The OOC 2018, which will be held in Nusa Dua, Bali on Oct. 29 and 30, will be participated by multiple stakeholders, consisting of government, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, public figures and observers. As of October 2018, there are 7 heads of states and governments, 37 ministers and 2,200 delegates that have confirmed their attendance at the conference.

“Indonesia will show what it has done in marine and fisheries, which is in line with the marine diplomacy continually pursued by Indonesia. The OOC this year will offer six areas of action, which includes sustainable fisheries, marine protected areas, marine pollution, climate change, the sustainable blue economy and maritime security,” Minister Susi said.

Minister Susi said the OOC 2018 will be different from other conferences that only resulted in the signing of MoUs or agreements. The OOC 2018 will produce concrete commitments. “We’ll take action and implement concrete action so that after attending the conference, all participating countries will have concrete commitments to develop the ocean, protect the ocean, and know how to address all issues related to the ocean,” she said, adding that all commitments will be monitored based on the system of a review mechanism.

According to her, the issue of the blue economy will be raised during the conference to realize sustainable fisheries that will be continually productive to fulfill the needs of Indonesian people.

She said maritime security should be discussed as in the future war will not be caused by issues of politics, ideologies, or religions, but competition for food and water resources, which will be in decline globally. “During the forum, Indonesia will share all actions already taken to change its fisheries based on the principle of sustainability. We’ve proven that we managed to reverse the deficit of our fishery trade balance. Previously, we were behind compared to other countries in Southeast Asia. But during the last four years we’re the first in Southeast Asia,” she said.

She pointed out that after applying the sustainability principle in marine and fisheries development, Indonesia has been getting much more benefits from the ocean. “During the last four years for the first time Indonesia is leading in the Southeast Asian region. For the first time, Indonesia’s GDP from the fisheries sector has been growing at the average of 6 to 6.7 percent per year, exceeding national GDP at the average of 4.5 to 5.2 percent per year. Our competitiveness index in the fisheries sector has also increased by around 20 percent from the previous 107 to 128. This is something that we can share during the OOC,” she said.

She added that Indonesia’s consumption of fish also increased from 36 kilograms to 46 kg per capita last year. Its fish stock increased from 7.1 million tons in 2016 to 12.5 million tons in 2017. (*)