Indonesia can serve as a model for blue economy development by showing how its vast marine resources can be harnessed to achieve sustainable economic recovery, analysts said.
This is all the more important as the country holds the presidency of the Group of 20 nations this year, with a summit of heads of state and government in November. As an archipelagic country, Indonesia is expected to lead the way in providing concrete measures to protect the oceans.
Indonesia’s Ministry of National Development Planning hosted a G20 side event earlier this month to unveil the country’s Blue Economy Roadmap.
The Blue Economy is a branch of industry that deals with the exploitation, conservation and regeneration of the global marine environment.
Indonesia encourages other G20 countries to support joint action to prioritize low-carbon green and blue economic development.
The development of the blue economy is “very relevant” to Indonesia as it is one of the largest maritime economies in the world, according to Fajar Hirawan, head of the economics department at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank in Indonesia Jakarta.
He said this is the right time to tap into maritime resources as the Indonesian government is focused on economic recovery.
“Indonesia must develop concrete policies and plans to promote the blue economy and show the world that Indonesia can have a more inclusive and sustainable growth model,” Hirawan said.
The Indonesia Ocean Justice Initiative (IOJI) calls on the country’s President Joko Widodo to take concrete action to protect the world’s oceans through “tangible commitments” that will accelerate the development of a sustainable and just ocean economy.
Sawidji Widoatmodjo, dean of the Faculty of Economics at Tarumanagara University in Jakarta, said promoting the blue economy will enable Indonesia to meet its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs.
He said these SDGs include Goal #8 to promote sustainable, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, productive full employment and decent work for all; Goal 14 to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development; and Goal 17 to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
The goals, adopted by 193 member states of the United Nations in 2015, aim to address the world’s most pressing problems by 2030.
Indonesia’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries discussed three blue economy strategies and action plans at the G20 side event held on Belitung Island in western Indonesia.
Indonesia has 28.4 million hectares of protected areas protecting mangrove ecosystems and seagrass beds.
Widoatmodjo said that to promote a blue economy, Indonesia must learn from its mistakes in managing land-based resources, citing how the country’s logging and coal exports have contributed to deforestation.
Leonard Jego in Jakarta contributed to this story.