Nusa Dua, When speaking at the 4th World Ocean Summit, Vice President Jusuf Kalla called on the international community to commit to maintaining the balance between ocean economic growth and its sustainability, in response to the rapid flow of economic and industrial activities that has caused changes in marine ecosystems.

“The international community can no longer neglect the importance of sustainable oceans if we want to achieve sustainable development. Business as usual is clearly not an option. We need a strengthened international cooperation to protect the marine environment and to ensure sustainable use of marine resources,” said the Vice President in the event held at Sofitel Hotel in Nusa Dua, Bali on Thursday (Feb. 23).

He further said, to promote cooperation and partnership in achieving sustainable and equitable development at all levels and to achieve successful implementation of the concept of Blue Economy, rules of law and principles of good governance in the context of ocean management should be enforced.

“We fervently believe that global partnerships, among others through new and innovative financing mechanisms as well as increased public-private collaboration are key towards fully and timely implementation of the SDGs,” he affirmed.

The Vice President admitted, the government still faces many challenges surrounding ocean management, one of the most pressing one is illegal, unregulated, unreported fishing (IUUF).

Thus, he continued, has been undertaking measures to fight against IUUF in its territory and pushing such acts to be classified as Trans-National Organized Crimes (TOC).

Considering its vast oceans and their strategic geographic position across the Indian and Pacific oceans, the Vice President said, President Joko Widodo has articulated a new maritime vision for Indonesia comprising five elements namely maritime security, maritime diplomacy, maritime connectivity, maritime culture, and enhancing maritime resources.

To achieve such vision, he argued, the Government has enacted several rules and regulations as well as strengthening the institutional framework to better govern national maritime affairs by establishing a Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs.

Besides, he added, the country is developing some pilot projects of blue economy.

“Indonesia is now developing a number of pilot projects of blue economy in our Indian Ocean coasts, among others, the Lombok Blue Economy Implementation Program in collaboration with the FAO, which is expected to create 77,700 new jobs and to generate income of 1.3 trillion rupiahs (US$114.88 million) per year,” he said.

In the occasion, the Vice President also underscored the importance of ensuring stability and security in the region, including in the South China Sea which is very strategic in connecting worlds’ most important economic engines.

He also reminded each party involved in the South China Sea conflict to give mutual respect and self-restrain as well as to put forward peaceful resolution to abide by the principle of international law, including UNCLOS 1982.

“History tells that there is no economic success without stability and that there is no stability without peace,” he concluded.

Previously, Bali Governor I Made Mangku Pastika in his welcoming speech conveyed his appreciation as Bali is elected as the host for the summit.

He further wished the forum would bring in policies and real commitment to realize the sustainability of marine ecosystems.

“The sea is the source of life and prosperity for mankind. I hope that by this forum marine potentials could be made most beneficial for human being,” he said.

The World Ocean Summit is organized by the Economist, a weekly magazine based in the UK. The summit this year is slated to last from February 22-24, 2017 and attended by around 400 participants from government institutions, private sector organizations, academics, and other parties to discuss maritime issues through constructive dialogues.

Also attending the summit were Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan and Marine and Fishery Minister Susi Pudjiastuti.