TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Marine Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti in tandem with an environment community, Pandu Laut Nusantara, has called for ocean cleanup in 74 beaches across Sumatra to Papua to commemorate the 74th anniversary of the Indonesian Independence Day.
“We’d like to raise Indonesian awareness of marine affairs. The ocean is vital for us,” said Susi in her official residence, Widya Chandra complex, Jakarta, Thursday, August 15.
The theme of this year's mass movement is "Memunggungi Laut" or supporting ocean. The event has been held since the last few years during the commemoration of the country’s independence day. Susi recalled the project was initiated along with Pandu Laut Nusantara following rampant plastic pollution in the sea.
Indonesia is the world’s second sea polluter after China, and this threatens the lives of 800 marine and coral species, she added. In 2040-2050, it is predicted that the number of plastic waste in the ocean will be larger than the amount of the sea should such a movement is not held in present days.
Therefore, she asserted that this project is necessary to preserve the marine resources and develop water conservation area. The data states that the conservation area spans about 22.69 million hectares.
From musicians to entertainers, the minister added, will join the movement; such as Kaka Slank, Tora Sudiro, and Ridho Hafiedz Slank.
Susi Pudjiastuti hoped this year’s project supported by BRI and Pertamina will see a higher number of participants and expected it to reach 74,000 people.
The ministry’s Director-General for Territorial Sea Management Brahmantya Satyamurti mentioned the project successfully collected 28,777.50 kilograms of waste in 2017 and in 2018, the number highly increased to 366,549.22 kilograms.
FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA