Wednesday, October 8, 2014


   Jakarta, Oct 8, 2014 (Antara) - Being the world's largest archipelago with over 17,000 islands, Indonesia is a maritime nation with a total population of around 250 million.
        The ocean and coastal areas have always been crucial sources of livelihood for millions of citizens and played significant roles in addressing climate change and preserving marine biodiversity.
        Given such crucial roles of oceans and coastal areas, the nation is forced to be able to balance economic growth and environmental preservation in managing maritime and coastal areas.

        For that purpose, Indonesia has been applying the so-called "Blue Economy" concept that considers the impact of economic and human activities on marine and coastal resources. It also promotes a more efficient management of marine resources to benefit coastal population.
        The Blue Economy model emphasizes conservation and sustainable management, based on the premise that healthy ocean ecosystems are more productive and represent the only way to ensure sustainable ocean-based economies.
        It also aims to ensure that small island developing states and developing world coastal states equitably benefit from their marine resources.
        The Blue Economy approach fosters a deeper understanding of the synergies among the marine ecosystems, economic development, and food security.
        The Blue Economy Summit held in Abu Dhabi, last January 2014, in its Declaration stated that Blue Economy is a tool that can help Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) to address issues such as alleviation of hunger, poverty eradication, and climate change mitigation.
        The concept is important for Indonesia which has a total coastal line of 80,000 km. The country is also located at the center of the Coral Triangle, which is called the "Amazon of the Seas" because of its stunning biodiversity.
        Besides, some 65 million Indonesians, mostly living in coastal areas, directly depend on marine resources. Indonesia is the world's third largest producer of `wild-caught fish'. The marine economic potential in Indonesia is estimated to reach $1.2 trillion per year.
        "Also critical to Indonesia and the Pacific Islands countries is Blue Economy, and I believe it is increasingly becoming our next frontier," President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said in his speech at the Second Summit of the Pacific Islands Development Forum held in Fiji, in June 2014.
         In addition to the Blue Economy, Indonesia has also included Green Economy as one of the essential pillars of its national sustainable development to promote sustainable growth with equity.
        "In my view, the Green Economy and the Blue Economy are complementary. Blue Economy is an integral part of Green Economy. This is a concept which is often referred to as 'a Green Economy in a blue world," Yudhoyono once said.
        The Blue Economy concept could be realized by changing the direction of development policies to keep the balance between economic growth and environmental conservation, Indonesian Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Sharif Cicip Sutardjo recently stated.
        The initiative was one of the ways to preserve marine and fishery resources in a sustainable manner to increase income and open job opportunities for the people, he said.
        The initiative, which is incorporated with the institutional framework of sustainable development by strengthening the pillars of natural resources and action plans, was agreed upon at the Voluntary Global Alliance meeting held in Jakarta on September 10, 2014.
        At the meeting, the global alliance declared Indonesia as the axis of the global Blue Growth, he said.
        In addition, the Alliance praised Indonesia for its active roles in international forums by taking strategic steps to start concrete actions with regard to Blue Growth fundamentals.
        "A key to the Blue Economy concept is environmental preservation. We must preserve the environment, including oceans," he said.
        Besides focusing on the environmental preservation, the concept also emphasized the importance of sustainable marine management to improve economic growth for people's welfare, he added.  
   He explained that Blue Economy has also encouraged other industries, such as wind and wave energies, deep sea oil and gas mining, marine fishery, and marine biotechnology.
        Regional and international partnership is important for the success of the Blue Economy implementation. "Experience has taught us that only with strong partnerships, can marine resources improve economic growth, especially through investment, technology, and small-to-medium enterprises cooperation," he added.
        The implementation of the Blue Economy in Indonesia has covered the promotion of good ocean governance, development of blue economy region, and investment model of blue economy toward efficiently used natural resources, Sharif noted.
         "A successful implementation of Blue Economy in Indonesia is in Lombok Island, West Nusa Tenggara, and Nusa Peninda, Bali, in cooperation with Food and Agriculture Organization," he said.
         In fact, West Nusa Tenggara's Eastern and Central Lombok districts have been designated as pilot projects for the implementation of the Blue Economy concept until the year 2018.
         The maritime affairs and fisheries ministry's Blue Economy team member Maskur said in Lombok recently that the program was initiated by the Indonesian government, the Dutch government, the UN Food Agricultural Organization (FAO), and the World Bank.
         "These two districts are being developed as Blue Economy pilot projects by implementing a production system that maintains the carrying capacity of the environment," Maskur stated recently.
         FAO is establishing a new Blue Growth Initiative, through which the FAO will assist countries in developing and implementing Blue Economy and growth agendas. ***2***

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