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Indonesia – A Maritime Nation

President Widodo Opens International Maritime Conference in Bali by Highlighting Urgent Needs to Safeguard and Protect the World’s Oceans

President Joko Widodo has underlined Indonesia’s commitment to become a maritime power and play an active role in protecting and preserving Indonesia’s oceans from a variety of possible threats.

As reported by Beritabali.com, Indonesia is actively undertaking dialogs with its ASEAN neighbors seeking maritime cooperation and a respect for international law.

Speaking at the Our Ocean Conference that he opened in Nusa Dua Bali, President Widodo explained that in the past four years steps have been taken to enhance connectivity via ocean toll ways, strengthening Indonesia’s maritime fleets, the development of 477 Indonesian ports, reducing pollution by committing to reduce plastic pollution in the ocean by 70% by 2025, creating 20 million hectares of water conservation zones in 2018 (2 years ahead of schedule), and actively involving itself in a number of international maritime groups.

The President invited all parties to have the courage to take concrete steps to safeguard the Oceans. Adding: “Every little action counts. For me, (one concrete step) is supporting the Out Ocean Conference 2018 (OCC) held at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center (BNDCC).”

The President said that the many challenges facing the world’s oceans underlines the absolute need for international cooperation.

More than 90% of the world’s trade takes place over seaways. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of people depend on the fishing industry. For these reasons, the seas must be safeguarded. 

Violations of the law in connection with the seas remain a major concern. The UN Food & Agricultural Association (FAO) estimates that illegal fishing involves 2.6 million tons of fish worth US$ 10 – 23 billion every year. There is also piracy, human trafficking, narcotics smuggling and other illegal activities happening in the surrounding oceans.

The president warned of the dangers of plastics polluting the oceans, destruction of coral reefs, rising water temperatures, and unresolved competing international maritime claims that must be addressed and resolved. President Widodo said he hoped the OOC 2018 would become the stimulus to meet the many challenges ahead posed by the world's seas.

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