The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo called on Monday for global action to protect the ocean, as Indonesia aims to play a leading role in maintaining ocean sustainability.
Jokowi opened the fifth Our Ocean Conference (OOC) in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Monday by reminding the participants that waters across the globe continued to face threats from illegal fishing, marine debris and climate change.
“There is no single country that can work alone in addressing the challenges we all face,” Jokowi said.
“We need to make a bold commitment and take concrete steps [in ocean protection] -- all of which should start with ourselves [...] This commitment should produce real outcomes which can be enjoyed by all of society,” he said. “Every little action counts.”
The two-day OOC kicked off on Monday, bringing together 1,900 participants from 37 countries, including six heads of state and representatives of private companies and at least 200 NGOs, to discuss their contributions for a healthy ocean.
It is the first time for an Asian country to host the annual global conference since it was first held in 2014 in Washington DC, the United States.
Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said the conference was strategic for at least three reasons: serving as a multi-stakeholder meeting that allowed all key players to contribute in ocean protection, being an action-oriented forum and complimenting the work undertaken by other forums on the ocean.
During the OOC, Indonesia will also push for a joint effort to create a tracking mechanism for the 663 commitments that OOC participants made during past conferences, particularly those regarding marine protected areas.
“I want this conference to also send a clear commitment, transparency [and that] we develop a concrete mechanism on tracking the delivery of all commitments made,” Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said during the opening ceremony. (ipa)