The World Bank has recently published a report on the Reforms for a Blue Economy in Indonesia: Oceans for Prosperity.

At the beginning of the report, the Former Director-General for Marine Spatial Management, Dr. Ir. Aryo Hanggono, and Deputy Coordinating Minister for Maritime Resources, Dr. Ir. Safri Burhanuddin delivered their notes on the cruciality of building a sustainable ocean economy in Indonesia, and they look forward to increasing cooperation and partnerships to increase ocean-related opportunities.

The report further examines the opportunities and challenges in the Blue Economy Sector in Indonesia.

Oceans are central for Indonesia’s economy and social welfare due to 17,500 islands, 108,000 km of coastline, and three-quarters of its territory at sea. The fishery sector counts for US$27 billion, supports 7 million jobs and provides over 50 percent of the country’s animal-based protein needs. There are vast opportunities to grow the long-term value of capture fisheries and aquaculture, marine and coastal tourism, marine construction, and transportation. The opportunities come at the cost of natural assets, therefore healthy marine and coastal ecosystems will be required. Despite the immense opportunities Indonesian Blue Economy may offer, there are inevitably some challenges to be tackled well to avoid the risk of damaging the potential of Indonesia’s ocean economy.

About 38 percent of the nation’s marine capture fisheries are overfished, one-third of Indonesia’s valuable coral reefs are in poor condition, important coastal ecosystems such as mangroves show substantial losses, and marine debris costs the economy over US$ 450 million per year. Some well-known marine and coastal tourism destinations are showing the effects of overcrowding and inadequate basic infrastructure.

Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment has said: “The Government of Indonesia has been working towards a blue economy strategy to improve the governance of marine and coastal ecosystems, achieve equal economic opportunities, and promote livelihoods, including by setting ambitious targets to reduce marine debris as well as restore and conserve mangrove and other oceans ecosystems. We look forward to increasing collaboration with other partners to further strengthen and implement a sustainable ocean economy.”

The report provides recommendations to meet the requirements overcoming the challenges and support the government’s action. It further elaborates with the government’s immediate three-pillar measures as a response to COVID-19, which are improving development planning and management of coastal and marine resources; promoting a “blue” recovery for business and jobs; support labor-intensive coastal and marine restoration.

There is a long way to achieve the goal of realizing the full potential of Indonesia’s ocean economy, which requires cross-sector reforms, as is mentioned in the report, and there are numerous opportunities for financing investments to achieve it.    

Please, click here to see the World Bank’s report.