Jakarta. Denmark agreed to contribute more than $800,000 to a World Bank-administered trust fund on Tuesday (28/11) as part of the Scandinavian country's effort to help Indonesia tackle the problematic issue of marine waste.
In a speech at the signing ceremony for the fund, Denmark’s Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen expressed hopes his government's contribution will "reinforce Indonesia’s commitment to tackle waste and environmental problems" both in the ocean and on land.
Denmark’s ambassador to Indonesia, Rasmus Kristensen, signed the contribution agreement with Rodrigo Chaves, the World Bank country director for Indonesia, at the Maritime Museum in Jakarta.
The Oceans, Marine Debris and Coastal Resources Multi-Donor Trust Fund (OMC-MDTF) will provide strategic support for the implementation of Indonesia’s National Ocean Agenda, including technical assistance and capacity building, multi-sector coordination and piloting of innovative responses to key challenges.
"Indonesia’s oceans and coastal areas play a critical role to the nation’s economy and culture.... However, these resources are at risk due to a variety of threats, including the rapidly growing problem of marine debris," Chaves said.
Indonesia is the second largest polluter in the world, just after China, in terms of marine debris. Around 80 percent of Indonesia’s 1.3 tons of ocean waste is from improperly disposed waste from land.
The country aims to reduce the amount of its plastic marine debris by 70 percent by 2025.
But it faces great challenges in improving its solid waste management. The Southeast Asian country’s bilateral cooperation with Denmark currently includes efforts to improve urban waste management, such as converting waste to energy.
The OMC-MDTF so far has received money from Denmark and Norway.
Speaking to PM Rasmussen at the event, Indonesia's Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said the government is "working very hard" to solve the problem of marine waste — and no longer just talking about it.
"Indonesia will do whatever it can to implementation the objectives of the trust fund," Luhut said.
The minister stressed that support from the international community is crucial if the effort is to be successful.
"Without support from the international community, I don’t think we can achieve our target," Luhut said.
Rasmussen is visiting Indonesia from Nov. 27 to 29. He had already held a meeting with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Tuesday.