Indonesia Calls for Stronger Partnerships to Secure Food and Livelihoods
“By failing to manage our oceans together, we fail to manage our collective future,” said H.E. Sharif C. Sutardjo, Indonesia’s Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries.
“As one of the largest archipelagos in the world, Indonesia heavily relies on finite ocean resources that are essential to providing food and jobs for millions of people. These resources are global economic drivers that must be sustainablymanaged to help reduce poverty and ensure resilience against the impacts of climate change,”added Sutardjo.
Improving ocean governance through partnerships
The side event emphasized the need for more cross-sectoral partnerships as key to helping improve ocean governance and address limited capacity.
“We need to engage governments, the private sector, academia, communities, and civil society to synergize efforts and develop new and innovative ideas to improve the sustainable use of the environmental services that our oceans provide us,” said Sutardjo.
To illustrate the value of such partnerships, Indonesia’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheriesand the Government of The Netherlands launcheda project for Fisheries and Aquaculture for Food Security in Indonesia, which will run for three years, from 2014 to 2016. This Euro 4,500,000 project, managed by the Center for Development and Innovation of Wageningen University, is designed to promote fisheries products that are supportive of sustaining food security in Indonesia. The project will enhance the availability, accessibility, and utilization of certain fisheries products for the domestic market and also improvethe quality and standardsof handling fish in local fishing ports to reduce wasteful practices.
“We hope that this partnership will be among the many others that will soon come after to help ensure the welfare of present and future generations,” said Sutardjo.
The world’s food basket
Asia accounted for 67 percent of total global fish production in 2011 and has become the major source of animal protein and nutrition for the global human population. However, the region also faces major challenges in sustaining this important role.
Aside from the rapid increase in population, marine and fisheries resources in many parts of Asia show declining trends due to degradation of critical habitats, loss of biodiversity, pollution, prevailing destructive fishing practices, and impacts of climate change.
Sustaining a Blue Economy
“Indonesia embraces the concept of Blue Economy as the next frontier, as stated by the President of the Republic of Indonesia in the Plennary Session of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Jeneiro in 2012,” said Sutardjo.
To improve its ocean-based economy in a way that promotes economic growth while providing equity for present and future generations, Indonesia has recently established a policy for Sustainable Marine and Fisheries Development based on the principlesof Blue Economy.
“Thispolicy aims to promote integrated ocean governance that meets the need of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs by balancing economic growth, social equity, and environmental protection,” added Sutardjo.
The side event, organized in partnership with Conservation International, The Coral Triangle Center, and WWF, brought together experts from varied disciplines who shared their expertise and experience in key areas of ocean governance.