KIARA submits debt termination petition to President that urges support of conservation through local wisdom in the management of marine resources.

Jakarta, 1st August 2013. People’s Coalition for Fisheries Justice (KIARA) handed a joint petition entitled ‘Preserve Marine Resources with Local Wisdom, not Debt/ Foreign Aid’ to the President via the Secretary of State of the Republic of Indonesia on Jl. No veteran. 17-18, Jakarta 10110. The petition was launched for 21 days (11th to 31st July 2013) through social media, and has gained the support of at least 123 organisations/ idividuals.

The Ministry of Finance notes Indonesia debts reached Rp 2,036 trillion as of May 2013. Ironically, most of these debt funds were obtained through the marketing of Indonesia’s marine resources to international financial institutions, including coral reef conservation programs and the expansion of marine protected areas (MPAs).

As already reported by the Centre for Data and Information at KIARA (May 2013):

Firstly, in the period 2004-2011 the Coral Reef Rehabilitation and Management (COREMAP II) reached more than Rp1, 3 trillion worth of debt, most of it sourced from external debt sources such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Secondly, the U.S. Government provides grant assistance to Indonesia worth USD 23 million or Rp 235.4 Billion. The grant plan is awarded over a four-year period, designed to aid the conservation area (USD 6 million) and to strengthen fisheries industrialisation (USD 17 million).

Ironically, the implementation of coral reef conservation program actually proved unsuccessful and ineffective and leakage of funds has occurred according to a CPC report (CPC Report 2013). In one instance, a misappropriation of funds designated for COREMAP II amountinted to Rp11, 4 billion. This figure is based on CPC Examination Results collected during the period November-December 2012, which identifies the actual use of funds designated for COREMAP II.

In addition, marine conservation practices also have a negative impact on traditional fishing communities. The Centre for Data and Information at KIARA (December 2012) found that at least 20 traditional fishermen have died or been declared lost at sea due to being shot by live ammunition from security forces in marine conservation area since 1980-2012.

It has already been a proven failure, yet the government (read: Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) wishes to implement project COREMAP III in the period 2014-2019, which would involve appropriating a further debt of U.S. $ 80 million from the World Bank and ADB. Furthermore, the establishment of MPAs is likely to trigger horizontal conflict.

Given the facts mentioned above, KIARA has urged the President to:

1)      Cease to exploit foreign debt schemes in the administration of conservation programs for marine resources

2)      Provide full support to local initiatives that have been run for generations by 92 percent of fisherfolk and indigenous peoples, such as the Sasi in Maluku, Bapongka in Central Sulawesi, Panglima laot in Aceh, Awig-awig in Bali and Nusa Tenggara, and Mane’e in North Sulawesi.

 

For further information, please contact:

Abdul Halim, Secretary General KIARA

at +62 815 53100 259

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