Nusa Dua (Greeners) – The 2018 Our Ocean Conference, attended by 1,500 participants of 43 countries, in Nusa Dua, Bali, had managed to gain 287 commitments worth of US$10.7 billion and 14 millions square kilometers of Marine Conservation Areas.
“These numbers exceed our expectations. We are grateful for the collective contributions in determining oceans future and its biodiversity to be more sustainable managed,” said Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Susi Pudjiastuti, in the Global Ocean Leadership Panel, in the 2018 Our Ocean Conference, in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Tuesday (30/10/2018).
Minister Susi said that current marine condition as one of source of human life is concerning. It is due to plastic waste in the oceans. These plastics will be decompose into micro-plastic consume by fishes. This will harm humans who eat the fishes contaminated by micro-plastic.
Illegal fishing also a threat for marine. Minister Susi said that 93 percent of fish in Indonesia is exploited using not environmentally friendly tools by illegal fishermen. Nevertheless, Indonesia has protected oceans and tackle illegal fishing resulted to 448 illegal fishing boats being drowned and the government also issued a-year-moratorium against foreign vessels to operate. In addition, Indonesia has banned fish nets that are damaging for oceans.
“We need to realize that oceans don’t need us but we need oceans. Oceans are able to heal themselves if given the opportunities,” said Minister Susi.
Since 2014, the first conference, to 2017, OOC has gathered 663 commitments with a third or 206 commitments being achieved. It shows that a third of world’s countries have committed to protect oceans.
Anastasia Kusumawardani, the 2018 commitment guard team, said that the commitments are not longer dominated by governments, but also from NGOs, private sectors, philanthropy, or individuals at this year’s conference.
“Indonesia as the host of 2018 OOC also gives a surprise by delivering to 23 commitments, meanwhile in the 2017 OOC in Malta, Indonesian government had only conveyed to ten commitments. For this year, Indonesia’s commitment for marine protection has reached to US$500 million,” said Kusumawardani, on Tuesday (30/10/2018).
Meanwhile, Ramon Van Bernfeld, International Relation Officer of European Union, praised Indonesia’s efforts to hold the 2018 OOC which could resulted to more events and participants compare to previous years.
“We appreciate Indonesian government hard work,” said van Bernfeld.
Reports by Dewi Purningsih