Bali hosts Our Ocean Conference 2018

This week, Bali will host international conference ‘Our Ocean’ (Our Ocean Conference, or OOC) on 29-30 October. With its list of attendants spanning across government, commercial sectors, civil society organisations, youth and scientific communities, the conference aims to enhance collaboration between “leaders and champions of the ocean” in developing actionable commitments to preserve the health of our oceans now and into the future.

Muhsin Syihab, the Foreign Ministry’s Director of Development, Economy and Environment, emphasised the significance of the conference for Indonesia at a press conference on Thursday 25 October. “The OOC shows Indonesia’s leadership in marine issues”, Syihab said, highlighting the six focus areas of the conference as being marine pollution, marine protection, sustainable fisheries, impacts of climate change, sustainable blue economy and maritime security.

Adding to this, Minister for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (Kementerian Kelautan dan Perikanan, or KKP) Susi Pudjiastuti said that the conference would enable Indonesia to positively impact global ocean health policy.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has echoed Syihab’s sentiments, saying that the conference was “very important” to Indonesia and has sent Malcolm Turnbull to attend on behalf of the Australian government. “He’s been in a position due to his previous relationship with President Joko Widodo to assist our national interest in attending this event,” he told reporters.

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Our Ocean, Our Legacy’. According to KKP’s Secretary General Rifky Effendi Hardijanto, the theme emphasises the importance of ocean health for future generations. As part of this, the OOC aims to secure commitments regarding the six focus areas from the multi-sectoral network of stakeholders in attendance.

Indonesia itself is home to vast sea areas, but oceans are central to the wellbeing of communities across the world. Tackling the issues at hand requires an international approach.

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