The opening panel of the World Ocean Summit on Thursday morning saw three ministers and a senior-ranking European Commission official acknowledge that harnessing the potential of the ocean and protecting it for the future generations are tasks too big and complex for any single country to deal with.
The panel, titled “The ocean economy—A whale of an opportunity?”, featured Indonesia’s Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan, Bangladesh’s Minister of Environment and Forests Anwar Hossain Manju, Portugal’s Minister of Sea Ana Paula Vitorino, and European Commission’s Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella with The Economist’s Asia columnist, Dominic Ziegler, moderating.
Luhut used plastic debris as an example of the complexities of the ocean problem and the necessity to mount a concerted, global response. He pointed out during his visit to the western part of Indonesia he encountered plastic debris originating from Singapore.
“I believe that some of the plastic debris from Indonesia have washed ashore in Australia. So we have to deal with this problem together,” he said.
Vella summed the shared sentiment among the speakers when he said that “the way forward now is cooperating globally.”
"We are not talking about [a] European environment, Chinese environment, we have one global environment with the global solution and you have to take […] global action,” he said.
The speakers also called all stakeholders to allocate greater resources to educate and promote environmental-friendly entrepreneurship among the younger generation. (yan)