Yogyakarta-UGM Graduate School plans to open Coastal and Marine Resources Management study program. In accordance with government’s policy, the new study program is expected to be able to produce graduates who are competent to contribute to marine resources management. “The presence of the study program is an answer to marine management policy which up to now is applied in community although it is considered not ideal,” Director of Graduate School, Prof. Dr. Hartono, said in the discussion Towards Maritime Nation, Wednesday (10/8).
Hartono added that Coastal and Marine Resources Management study program is expected to encourage the government to support the maritime policy seriously. “Although having been driven by Juanda Declaration, the policy has not focused on maritime community,” he said.
According to Hartono, one of the basic problems in optimization of marine resources is the low human resources in marine and fisheries affairs. Although two thirds of Indonesia’s areas are oceans, consisting 17 thousand islands and Indonesia has the second longest coastline in the world, abundant biological and non-biological marine potentials have not been utilized optimally for people’s welfare and prosperity. “Our geographical potential is quite big, 70 percent of oceans, 17 thousand small islands and 8 thousand unnamed islands,” he said.
Although the establishment of the study program is still being proposed, UGM Graduate School continues to gather ideas, opinions from academicians, government and experts to support. “We need supports from academicians, business and government. It is expected that Yogyakarta can pioneer the maritime policy,” he said.
Governor of the Province of Yogyakarta Special Region, Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, welcomed the plan initiated by the Graduate School. According to Sri Sultan, the founding of the study program is very relevant with Indonesia’s condition as a maritime nation. However, the government policy up to now does not include maritime strategy. On the contrary it directs to continental policy. “Factually, this country is a maritime one, but we have no guards of marine security, coastguards and regulations on ship commerce and marine management,” he said.
Sri Sultan mentioned that at least, there are 14 institutions who felt that they are responsible in marine affairs, namely the Navy, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Transportation. However, they do not specially guard waters security and marine potential. “If this is not managed well, we will have big problems in marine affairs,” he said.
According to Sri Sultan, though Indonesia’s position is getting more strategic, if we do not manage maritime policy, it is feared that our marine potential will be taken and managed by foreign countries. “Our forest has vanished, but many of our people are still poor. The oil has been alloted for some people. If the case happens to the sea, too, what else do we have to prosper our community?” he concluded.