Bali (Greeners) – President of Republic of Indonesia, Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo, opened the 2018 Our Ocean Conference, in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Monday (29/10/2018).
On his opening speech, President Widodo expected the conference, which attended by 1,500 participants of 143 countries, can become the driver of mental revolution of ocean protection, globally.
“I recognize Indonesia is a maritime nation, I am aware that our oceans are more vast than our lands. We are all know that the world’s oceans are far greater than the lands. I and we all know that oceans and seas are our future, our ocean our future,” said President Widodo.
Furthermore, he said that oceans are important for life and the future of human existence. Thousands of millions of people depend their lives on fisheries sector and its food chains. Nearly half of world population or roughly 3.2 billion of people live within a radius of 100 kilometers from oceans. In addition, the richness of marine biodiversity.
The total of world marine richness is expected to reach US$ 24 trillion, with more than 90 percent of world’s trade volume is conducted through oceans, more than 40 percent of world’s trade also through seas, and 61 percent of crude oil production also generated from oceans.
On the other hand, world’s oceans are facing increasing challenges and crimes. Based on FAO, illegal fishing has reached up to 26 million tons or US$ 10-30 billion per year.
Furthermore, other challenges, such as piracy, human trafficking, smuggling, and slavery, overlapping with borders dispute also add to the complications. Marine environment issues, such as plastic wastes, coral reefs damages, sea level warming and rising, are also posing threats.
“We don’t want to wait until it’s too late for our oceans to do something. One nation cannot optimize benefits of oceans for the whole world. Governments would not be able to solve all of those challenges. We need global cooperation to achieve sustainable development, especially on marine protection,” said President Widodo.
Furthermore, President Widodo said that mental revolution is needed to tackle marine challenges and marine sustainable development. He encourages OOC to take necessary steps to improve synergy to be applicable in each countries.
President Widodo closed his speech with his poetry (editor’s note : based on loose translation).
Don’t give your backs to your oceans.
Gaze at your oceans
Embrace with your heart
Oceans are your best friend
The best friend who provides life, for you, for your grand children, for your great grand children.
Oceans are not dividers
Oceans unite the distance between lands
Oceans unite civilizations
Oceans are seas of welfare
Oceans are seas of peace
Protect and Love your oceans your seas
Your oceans are your future
Our ocean, our future
Our ocean, our legacy!
Report by Dewi Purningsih