The first session of the Intergovernmental Conference on the Establishment of International Legally Binding Instrument Under UNCLOS on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (IGC BBNJ) was held in 2018.
However, until the fourth round which was held in March 2023, the IGC BBNJ session had not produced an agreement on the adoption of the text among all UN member countries. Although, the BBNJ script has officially reached a mutual agreement.
Indonesia as a member country is optimistic that the text will soon be adopted in the next round. The optimism has proven real because, in the fifth round that took place last week, the adoption of the text was successfully agreed upon by 193 member countries.
The meeting was a crucial moment because only the United Nations has the right to determine whether BBNJ can continue or not. Luckily, at that moment all countries agreed to adopt the BBNJ Sea Treaty.
Officially, BBNJ was adopted by consensus by 193 UN member states on Monday (19/6/2023). It emphasized that there is already a shared commitment among all countries to accelerate environmental conservation and sea restoration for the future of humanity.
As a worldwide agreement, BBNJ is expected to become an international legal instrument. Thus, the goal of fully implementing marine conservation and protection can go well.
The Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, Arrmanatha C Nasir, who was present with the National Team delegation, said that Indonesia has an important role to play with other developing countries in carrying out the contents of the BBNJ agreement.
He also appreciated the persistent effort shown by the National Team when he was the Indonesian delegation at the session. Going forward, the National Team must be more solid and nimble in carrying out negotiations through a measurable action plan to implement.
Through the adoption of BBNJ, Indonesia can show stronger to the world that becoming the leader of the Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) for countries in the world is a good move.
As a leader, Indonesia does not want everything that develops to end up as an idea. More than that, efforts will continue to be made so that every idea becomes a reality and can synergize with other countries, especially for the utilization of marine biodiversity in waters outside the State’s jurisdiction.
According to the mandate, the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs coordinates negotiators and experts from various Government Ministries/Institutions to contribute actively from the preparatory committee, the first BBNJ Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) implementation session in 2017, until the implementation of the new 5th IGC continued resumed session completed on June 19, 2023.
In addition to fighting for equal opportunities for developing countries, Indonesia has also succeeded in ensuring that the largest genetic resource in the sea, namely fish used in biotechnology activities, is not excluded from the benefit/benefit sharing regime for all countries, especially developing countries.
The National Team also persistently ensures that Indonesia’s position as an archipelagic country directly adjacent to the high seas is not excluded from the consultation process for the implementation of activities in the high seas.
Also, Indonesia strongly opposes the implementation of activities on the high seas that are irresponsible and not consultative with countries around the locations where activities are carried out on the high seas.
Jodi Mahardi explained Indonesia’s leadership for AIS was also carried out by ensuring affirmative policies for the representation of island and archipelagic country experts in institutional schemes and capacity building of BBNJ agreements including scientific and technical bodies (STB).
It is known that the text of the Agreement on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity Outside National Jurisdiction or BBNJ is an agreement agreed upon with scientists, environmentalists, and conservation organizations with the aim of protecting the high seas from exploitation.
IGC BBNJ itself is an inter-country conference held to form a new international legal instrument under UNCLOS. The goal is to be able to build large marine protected areas to prevent the extinction of marine biota and animals, monitor industrial fishing activities, and share marine genetic resources.
Indonesian Marine Protected Areas with a Road Map
The area of conservation areas throughout Indonesia is targeted to reach 30 percent of the total sea area by 2045. If you look at current achievements, the conservation area is at least 9.75 million hectares.
The target setting follows the previous target of 32.5 million ha which is expected to be realized in 2030 or reach 10 percent of the total sea area. To achieve this ambition, the Government of Indonesia is implementing various efforts.
On various occasions, the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Sakti Wahyu Trenggono said that the expansion of marine protected areas would trigger many positive things. Among other things, ensuring the sustainability of fish stocks, protecting blue carbon stocks, and protecting coastal ecosystems and small islands.
“All of that will trigger social welfare in the surrounding community,” he said recently in Jakarta.
The expansion is also part of the blue economy program currently being implemented by the Government of Indonesia. Through various ways, expansion efforts are currently being carried out by involving many groups and interested parties.
One of the efforts to achieve the 2045 target is to add a conservation area of 200 thousand ha by 2023. In addition, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) is also focusing on increasing the management area of a conservation area of 15.8 million ha this year.
The Director General of Maritime Spatial Management at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Victor Gustaaf Manoppo, said that the expansion of the conservation area to 30 percent by 2045 is part of the blue economy roadmap that the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries is currently implementing.
“This is in line with the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework’s global commitment for 2022 which targets 30 percent of marine areas to be protected by 2030,” he explained last week in Surabaya, East Java.
He stated that the area of conservation areas in Indonesia in 2022 would have reached 28.9 million ha. If you look at the area of Indonesian waters which reaches 325 million ha, then the proportion of achievements in 2022 is still around 8.9 percent of the total water area.
In addition to increasing the area, in 2023 there will also be an additional area for effective management of a conservation area of 15.8 million ha. Thus, the conservation area that is formed can guarantee the life cycle and food chain.
It will also provide a spillover effect that can support the availability of fish resource stocks (SDI) for capture fisheries and marine aquaculture. Also, effective management will be able to maintain local culture and wisdom.
By doing management, it is hoped that the conservation area can be better and more useful. Through management, KKP also conducts an evaluation process to find out to what extent it has had a positive impact or not sustainable management.
12 Nautical Miles
Director of Conservation and Marine Biodiversity of KKP Firdaus Agung explained the expansion of the conservation area this year. According to him, the program targets locations of waters over 12 miles in North Sulawesi and the conservation target is an important habitat for small pelagic fish.
In addition to this target, the expansion of the conservation area is stated in more detail regarding the 2045 target with 30 percent of the total area of water. He said, this year the KKP is compiling a roadmap for the target by including a spatial plan for potential new conservation areas.
At the same time, an action plan for achieving this is also prepared by selecting critical locations, ensuring effective management and integration in regulations such as the National Medium Term Development Plan (RPJMN) and the National Marine Spatial Plan (RTRLN).
He explained the preparation of the roadmap for the expansion of the conservation area was divided into three milestones, namely producing a 30 percent spatial plan, documenting the achievement strategy, and integrating it into the RPJMN and RTRLN.
One of the new conservation areas that has been established this year is the Kolepom Conservation Area in the waters of Kolepom Island which is administratively included in Merauke Regency, South Papua Province.
The designation of the conservation area was carried out on January 5, 2023, and was stated in the Decree of the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Number 5 of 2023 concerning Conservation Areas in Waters in the Kolepom Island Region of South Papua Province.
Meanwhile, the total area of the conservation area in Kolepom waters reaches 356,337.90 ha with three-zone divisions, namely a core zone of 35,458.27 ha, a limited use zone of 286,572.61 ha, and other zones according to area designation of 34,307.02 ha.
The third zone, or the latter, is divided into a ship passage zone covering an area of 27,638.99 ha, and a religious/cultural site zone with an area of 6,668.03 ha. In addition to dividing the zones, the Kolepom conservation area also sets targets for the habitat of barramundi, Gulama fish, saw rays, and penaeid shrimp.
Historically, Kolepom Island was also known as Yos Sudarso Island, because on January 15, 1962, a battle aboard the KRI Macan Tutul around the Aru Sea killed Commodore Yos Sudarso.
Regarding the conservation area in Kolepom waters, the Head of the Sorong Coastal and Marine Resources Management Workshop (LPSPL) Santoso Budi Widiarto revealed that the process had started from 2015 to 2019 when the Decree on Reserves for the Kolepom Conservation Area was issued by the Governor of Papua.
Then, after Law Number 14 of 2022 concerning the Formation of the South Papua Province was passed, the management of the park in the waters of the Kolepom island area underwent a change because it is managed directly by the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Service of the South Papua Province.
After being established earlier this year, it is hoped that the Kolepom marine conservation area can be managed in a sustainable manner so that it can provide many benefits. Apart from that, it is also so that Kolepom waters can act as a source of food security.