It is undeniable fact that Indonesia has remarkable affluence and beauty of the sea. Located in the coral reef triangle is known as the second largest fish producing country in the world. Thousands of marine species live in Indonesia’s territorial waters. But now the condition is under the looming threat due to the various problems such as disposable plastic waste pollution.
Considering these concerns, the EcoNusa Foundation and Pandu Laut Nusantara held an event so-called Sail to Campus (STC) as a means of marine campaigns for young people. STC brings various issues of marine and marine resource management that are sustainable and equitable to university community.
STC aims to build a real movement to unravel the problem of the sea and the people who depend their livelihood on sea. Young people, especially students, are deemed the agents of change who serve as partners in preserving Indonesia’s marine sustainability. Through this movement, it is expected to create youth movement that will perform concrete actions.
STC targets five universities in Indonesia, namely Brawijaya University, Hasanuddin University, Gadjah Mada University, Pattimura University and University of Indonesia. Brawijaya University(UB) in Malang, East Java, was made as the first location for STC anchor on November 13, 2019. The public discussion entitled “Seeing the Sea 2019-2024: More Conservation or Exploitation” presented a number of discussions, including the Special Staff Unit Coordinator National Task Force to Eradicate Illegal Fishing Mas Achmad Santosa, Head of UB’s Coastal and Marine Study Center Andi Kurniawan, Ocean Program Manager for EcoNusa Wiro Wirandi Foundation, and musician Kaka Slank.
“Never let Indonesian students or young people to fail to notice that the biggest gift given by God to the Indonesian people is the sea,” Andi Kurniawan said.
The campus community gave warm welcome to the public discussion. The enthusiasm of the young people was evidently showed from hundreds of students taking parts in the three-hour public discussion. Approximately 454 students from the Faculty of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries attended the UB TV Hall. In addition, around 120 students from various campuses around UB joined to become volunteers for Pandu Laut Nusantara.
The number of enthusiasts here indicates that young people have serious concern about the resource-rich sea and sustainability of the Indonesian sea. It seems there is growing concern among these young people with marine issues. Moreover, Indonesia is heading toward the demographic bonus by 2045 of which almost 70 percent of the population is of 20-35 years old. Productive young age will generate a real movement for the sake of the Indonesian sea.
In addition to public discussions, the STC held by EcoNusa Foundation in collaboration with UB announced joint commitments related to reducing the use of disposable plastics. This commitment agreement certainly triggers optimism and invites more university students and young students in Malang to save the Indonesian sea. Worse, Indonesia is recorded as the second largest contributor of plastic waste in the world.
Editor: Leo Wahyudi S.