Welcome remarks at the Indonesia’s second SDG Annual Conference 2019

Excellency Mr. Muhammad Jusuf Kalla, Vice-President, Republic of Indonesia
Excellencies,
Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Selamat pagi.

It is my great honor to be invited to speak in the Indonesia’s second SDG Annual Conference 2019. I would like to congratulate the National Development Planning of Indonesia for hosting this impressive conference in Jakarta.

The world leaders at the UNGA74 session adopted a political declaration that recognized the importance of gearing up for a decade of action 2020-2030 and delivery for sustainable development.

At the SDG Summit, the regional commissions emphasized the levers of transformation : (i) financing for development, with a focus on domestic resource mobilization, and combat illicit financial flows; (ii) youth potentials; (iii) women empowerment; (iv) technology; and (v) governance and institution building. Going forward with the 2030 Agenda, the SDG Summit deliberations underscored the importance of SDG 14: Life below Water and its policy architecture.

Tens of millions of people in Asia and the Pacific are dependent on oceans for their livelihood. Our oceans are fundamental to harness economic development opportunities and to bring harmony between people and planet.

Today, land-based pollutants and marine debris threaten coastal habitats and marine ecosystems. Increasing acidification is damaging marine life and hampering the ocean’s role in moderating climate change. Extreme sea level rises that used to happen once per century could occur every year by mid-century in many regions.

The recent “Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate” of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) underscores the urgency of prioritizing timely, ambitious and coordinated action to address unprecedented and enduring changes in the ocean. No doubt that our oceans are already suffering the “sweeping and severe” consequences of the climate change emergency.

The impact is particularly severe in small island developing States (SIDS) and archipelagic countries such as like Indonesia. The fast-changing disastrous effects of climate change is significantly affecting the way of life of these communities.

With this background, the implementation of SDG14 and its targets can have a pivotal and multiplier effect on other SDGs, resulting in economic well-being and reducing socio-economic inequalities.

May I take this opportunity to highlight three priority areas to address this challenge:

First, scaling up climate finance.

We need concrete actions towards scaling up of climate finance in line with a carbon neutral world by 2050. The access to the Green Climate Fund should remain the priority. Multilateral development banks and international financial institutions, along with developed member States need to raise concessional and green finance for the Pacific and other countries who are facing the devastating effects of climate crisis that are undermining efforts to achieve the SDGs.

Second, embracing technological innovations.

We must embrace the power of technological innovations here, which can mitigate the new oceans and climate reality. For example, big data innovations such as using the large data sets from mobile phone tracking to satellite platforms, to reveal patterns, trends, and associations of complex climate-disaster risks and changing ocean ecosystems in real time are some of the greatest benefits of leveraging technological innovations.

Third, strengthening peer-learning.

The regional and subregional sharing of good practices is critical to scale-up the opportunities for peer-learning in better understanding changes in ocean chemistry. An action oriented regional policy framework could outpace the negative impact on marine ecosystems and people that depend on them. We all need to bring our efforts together to explore lasting solutions and effectively implement them now.

I would like to highlight two recent examples of Indonesian leadership:
First, Low Carbon Development Initiative through nature-based solutions.

As highlighted by Indonesian Vice President, Mr. Muhammad Jusuf Kalla during the UNGA 74 session on the Climate Action Summit on 23 September 2019 in New York, I am pleased to applaud Indonesia's Low Carbon Development Initiative through nature-based solutions.

The initiative will help in protecting and restoring forests and peatlands, and intensifying energy transitions by eliminating subsidies on fossil fuel and developing potentials of renewable energy.

In this context, Indonesia’s call for the ways to help countries by developing a green finance facility through international cooperation has been well appreciated by the development community.

Access to financial support for green development, technology transfer for energy transition, and climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies are the only available option to save our planet.

Second, Promote sustainable fishing.

In Indonesia, fishing activities have been seriously impacting the marine environment for many years. In order to promote sustainable fishing, Government of Indonesia is actively promoting policies in management of fisheries activities, including better enforcement and elimination of “Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported” fishing.

These solutions driven policies can protect the ocean that will help preserve biodiversity, habitats, and promote maritime economy.
We can not take this journey alone. Your regional policy stewardship can provide the direction.

Indonesia is well placed to take its leadership role in the various global and regional fora. In this context, I am looking forward to Indonesian participation and leadership at the UN ESCAP’s 76th session of the Commission in May 2020, to be held in Bangkok, Thailand.

We will deliberate on the 2020 theme study of “Promoting Economic, Social and Environmental Cooperation on Oceans for Sustainable Development”. We will focus on three priority areas, namely: (i) marine pollution and plastic debris; (ii) sustainable fisheries; and (iii) maritime connectivity.

I am pleased to say that Indonesia’s ongoing policy innovations have much to offer to find regional solutions for these thematic areas.

Let us seize this opportunity and leverage Indonesia’s strategic leadership towards rethinking the way our ocean economy works for improving long-term prosperity in Asia and the Pacific.

I wish you all the best for your 2019 SDGs summit. Thank you for your attention.

Terima kasih!