Officials from the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs, the World Bank, Norway and Denmark met on Tuesday (30/01) to initiate efforts to tackle an alarming increase in ocean pollution in Indonesian waters. (Photo courtesy of World Bank)

Indonesia Begins Efforts to Curb Marine Waste

BY : SHEANY

JANUARY 31, 2018

Jakarta. Officials from the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs, the World Bank, Norway and Denmark met on Tuesday (30/01) to initiate efforts to tackle an alarming increase in ocean pollution in Indonesian waters.

The stakeholders gathered at the Manggarai Watergate in Jakarta to mark the start of the efforts.

According to a statement issued by the Norwegian embassy, the visit aimed to see how waste can be removed from rivers and canals by trash racks to ensure that garbage does not end up in the sea or cause flooding.

Indonesia is the second largest marine polluter in the world, just after China. Around 80 percent of Indonesia’s 1.3 tons of ocean waste comes from improperly disposed waste from land.

The country aims to reduce the amount of its plastic marine debris by 70 percent by 2025.

However, the archipelago faces considerable challenges in improving its solid waste management and has been cooperating with countries like Norway and Denmark to improve urban waste management.

Norway contributed $1.4 million to the Indonesia Oceans, Marine Debris and Coastal Resources Multi-Donor Trust Fund (OMC-MDTF), which will provide strategic support to the implementation of Indonesia’s National Ocean Agenda, including technical assistance and capacity-building.

Denmark has also contributed more than $800,000 to the fund, which is administered by the World Bank.

Under local regulations, the issue of waste is the responsibility of each district government across the archipelago. However, according to deputy minister for maritime sovereignty Arief Havas Oegroseno, district governments lack adequate funding to effectively manage waste.

"Therefore, cooperation across sectors and institutions to strengthen existing policy is extremely important. The Indonesian government is committed to allocate $1 billion for the next five years," Havas said.

The effort will also be supported with additional funds by other development partners, including the OMC-MDTF, to strengthen waste management capacity in coastal cities, including Jakarta.

"The most important thing to do is to ensure proper waste management on land, and to move away from the types of plastic we only use once and then throw away, such as plastic wrappers, plastic bags and bottles, and instead promote a circular economy," Norway’s ambassador Vegard Kaale said, as quoted in a statement.

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