KOMPAS.com – Indonesian Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Sakti Wahyu Trenggono has marked World Ocean Day on June 8 by calling on the public to play a bigger role in safeguarding the marine ecosystem.
“Among the steps that the public can carry out to maintain the marine ecosystem are refraining from littering one’s trash as well as restoring coral reefs and mangrove swamps,” he said in an official statement to mark World Ocean Day as well as Coral Triangle Day on June 9.
“These steps are needed to maintain a healthy marine ecosystem that is economically sustainable. As occasions that are marked on two successive days, the ocean and coral reefs are both inseparable elements that must be safeguarded and maintained.”
He lamented that humanity continues to be the single biggest threat to marine ecosystems. “Millions of tons of consumer waste pollute the ocean annually. Most of them are plastic waste that threaten marine life.”
Trenggono received his French counterpart Annick Girardin during the occasion. He took the time to highlight a number of initiatives that his ministry has taken to restore the marine ecosystem and coral reefs.
“The steps include the National Economic Recovery or PEN, which managed to restore 74.3 hectares, or 93,685 species of coral reefs off Nusa Dua, Sanur and other parts of Bali’s coastlines,” he highlighted.
“Another is the Marine Space Management program or PRL, which has replanted 2,975,129 mangrove trees in an equivalent area of 448.18 hectares, throughout 2020. This is more than double the initial goal of 200 hectares.” But he noted that much work needs to be done.
“Indonesia has 3.3 million hectares of mangrove swamps, of which 647,000 hectares are in critical condition. Of this number, we have restored 3,000 hectares,” Trenggono asserted. “Indonesia is also active in forums and dialogue on sustainable marine life, like the Coral Triangle, since 2009,” he said.