Indonesia's archipelago boasts a vast marine territory with more than 17,000 islands, covering one of the largest reservoirs of marine and land biodiversity on the planet. With the seas occupying three quarters of its territory, the “Blue Economy” provides direct or indirect employment for more than 25 million Indonesians. The role it plays in Indonesia’s continuing economic development, was driven home during Minister of the Sea, Annick Giarardin’s visit from June 6 to 11, and during World Ocean Day on June 8.
However, the benefits of marine and coastal ecosystems are under threat from illegal fishing, climate change, coastal erosion and various forms of pollution.
Better understanding and monitoring of the oceans
To overcome these challenges, AFD has been in active dialogue with the Indonesian authorities for over ten years, to help meet its needs in terms of financing and expertise, by mobilizing the entire range of tools at its disposal, with total funding of close to €500 million.
One of AFD's main areas of activity in Indonesia is supporting the government in better monitoring its oceans and resources. A number of tools are being deployed: seabed mapping, assessment of exploited resources, evaluation of the impact of pollution on biodiversity and seismic risk studies.
The loan agreement for the KRisNa project (€89 million) was signed during this ministerial visit. Led by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), this initiative consists of acquiring and rehabilitating oceanographic research vessels, building the capacities of the managers and operators of this fleet, as well as supporting research teams to improve the quality and findings of national oceanographic research.
Another key focus for AFD is the sustainable management of fishery resources and the upgrading of the associated port infrastructure and services. During the visit by the Minister of the Sea, a letter of intent was signed for the “Eco-fishing ports” project, which aims to modernize several Indonesian fishing ports through an eco-certification process.
This project aims to improve the traceability of catches and the collection of reliable data, as a basis for the sustainable management of fishery resources. It should also improve the quality of the products caught, and therefore their selling price, thus raising the income of fishers and their families. Establishing a more inclusive style of fishing port management that takes into account environmental and climate issues is also among the objectives.
Monitoring of marine debris
Annick Girardin also attended the launch of Argos beacons at the mouth of the Cisadane River, north of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. Argos is a satellite-based system, which collects, processes and disseminates environmental data, and these beacons can track the path of plastic debris dumped at sea, so that these flows can be modeled on a larger scale.
This project, having received a €500 000 grant from AFD, is being implemented in partnership with the French Research Institute for Development (IRD), the company Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS), and the Indonesian Ministry of Fisheries.
Further reading: “Indonesia: Tackling Plastic and Marine Debris”
In a few weeks’ time, the Minister's visit will be followed up with the launch of a cartoon competition focused on marine debris and organized in collaboration with the Indonesian development bank PTSMI: “Together against plastic pollution”. Indonesian cartoonists between the ages of 18 and 25 will be invited to submit a drawing representing plastic pollution in their country and the everyday actions that can be taken to reduce it, in order to raise awareness among young people.