China, Indonesia to cooperate on ocean conservation

Raja Amput
China and APEC host Indonesia have signed an agreement to work together on marine conservation and ocean monitoring and have called on other members to join in as part of the push for sustainable development, an official said in Bali on Tuesday.

Indonesian Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) Minister Sharif Cicip Sutardjo believes that his country is ready to motivate greater work on conservation of marine resources.

Some ocean and fisheries issues were discussed at APEC 2013 including the provision of fish as food and animal protein sources (food security), connectivity, provision of employment, poverty reduction and the role of the ocean in support of economic growth.

“Mainstreaming ocean and fisheries issues are very important in the Asia-Pacific region, primarily related to the tourism sector, the development of alternative energy, transportation, food security, sustainable trade of marine and fisheries products and the supporting plan and implementation,” he said.

Mainstreaming ocean-related issues needs to be pursued, says a statement to APEC Economic Leaders, in order to make a stronger foundation for cooperation on ocean and fisheries, he opined.

To support the plan, Indonesia has proposed a concrete action work plan for mainstreaming ocean-related issues for each member of APEC. The work plan is expected to be a reference for each APEC member economy for the development of ocean and fisheries sector in the region.

“Related to mainstreaming ocean-related issues, there are three areas of cooperation described in the work plan. First is strengthening food security and food safety, and the second is about the health of the ocean and protection of the marine environment. Finally, related to the sea as connectivity for APEC economies,” he said.

China and Indonesia’s presidents last week initiated bilateral cooperation for monitoring ocean resources in the Asia-Pacific region through a memorandum of understanding.

The cooperation agreement also discussed technical cooperation development of sustainable fisheries, protection of biological diversity of fishery resources and capacity building in fisheries. Among them, through a variety of educational and training programs by both parties that will develop fisheries.

The signing of this cooperation has a high strategic value because in addition to providing benefits to both parties, this can also improve Indonesia’s ability to ensure the stability and safety of marine resources in the region that will contribute to the security and stability of the Asia-Pacific region as well as to accelerate the economic recovery in the region.

Indonesia has shown its seriousness in building cooperation for ocean monitoring in APEC by proposing the establishment of the APEC Ocean and Fisheries Information Center (AOFIC).

“The Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Indonesia has proposed a Research Center for Ocean Observation in Perancak, Bali, as the APEC Ocean and Fisheries Information Center (AOFIC). It is expected to monitor the progress of APEC member economies in the field of marine affairs and fisheries, especially in following up the results of the APEC forum,” he said.