Marine ecosystems, which include mangrove forests, seagrass beds, brackish water, saltwater swamps, and coral reefs, have great potential as carbon sinks and stores, Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya Bakar noted.
“On the basis of an ecosystem base, the study sections are very relevant to the FOLU Net Sink 2030 Agenda, which is our determination as a nation,” she said at a seminar on blue carbon ecosystems at Manggala Wanabakti Building in Jakarta on Monday.
The implementation of blue carbon ecosystems offers significant development opportunities but also poses challenges for several sectors, such as sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, marine and coastal tourism, and coastal development.
Thus, regulatory support, incentives, research, and capacity building, including financing mechanisms, are needed to support investment for healthy and sustainable oceans, while ensuring such investment is in accordance with the sustainable and resilient marine economy concept, Bakar said.
According to her, this is in line with the records of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry that there are several issues related to coastal and marine ecosystems that need attention and their resolution will require institutional follow-up.
The study also covers important issues regarding building institutional capacity at a very broad level.
“In my point of view, this is what will guide our governance regarding ecosystem-based carbon (footprint),” said Nurbaya.
She informed that the government has proposed directives in this regard, which cover regulations, institutions, processes, systems and procedures, community participation, financing systems, databases, policy exercise, and policy-making as well as national (central government) and sub-national (community, private, regional government) interactions, especially how coercive and cooperative patterns can be built and maintained well in relation to carbon.
This is in terms of roles, pressures, inter-agency mandates, control, implementation assumptions, sources of policy innovation, and implementation emphasis toward carbon governance.
Bakar further said that her party appreciates the initial efforts made by the Indonesia Ocean Justice Initiative (IOJI) to study blue economy ecosystems in Indonesia.
She expressed the hope that the study would support Indonesia’s efforts toward and progress made in carbon governance.
“I am also optimistic about the marine and wetland sectors where, in the context of wetlands as ecosystems, the relevance of working with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry is very close,” she added.
Meanwhile, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Sakti Wahyu Trenggono said that Indonesia’s mangrove and seagrass ecosystems, which cover an area of 3.36 million hectares, could potentially absorb 11 billion tons of carbon dioxide with an estimated economic value of US$66 billion.
The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries has implemented five policies related to the blue economy, which comprise the expansion of marine conservation areas; quota-based measurable capture fisheries; development of environmentally friendly marine, coastal, and inland aquaculture; management of coasts and small islands; and management of plastic waste in the sea.
“We are very focused on ecology because if the sea is damaged, then the blue economy or the ecology will also be damaged and blue carbon will not be obtained,” Trenggono added.
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