Signing of an MoU on Adoption of Alor Island between Director of Graduate School UGM and Director General from Marine and Fisheries Ministry was conducted on Friday (7/6) in the UGM Graduate School.
UGM adopts the Alor island in the Province of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT); this is part of UGM cooperation with the Ministry in the management Indonesian small islands. The Director General, Dr. Sudirman Saad,, M.Hum., said Indonesia is the largest archipelago with 17,504 islands from Sabang to Merauke. Of that figure, 92 are the most underlying ones with 31 being inhabited.
“It’s a challenge for Indonesia to manage these small islands, especially the 31 inhabited islands as the islands have strategic position in terms of sovereignty,” he explained.
Sudirman Saad said good and sustainable management would give contribution to national development. Currently, such islands are poor in terms of transportation and infrastructure, acces to education, health and sanitation.
“The government, therefore, is trying to develop an integrated programme between ministries and universities through the ‘Island Adoption’ programme to accelerate development."
The cooperation with UGM runs for three years. It covers identification, data updating, use and development as well as remote sensing and geographic information system, community empowerment, capacity enhancement, business development and alternative livelihoods, environment improvement, conservation and disaster mitigation and climate change adaptation.
Regent of Alor, Drs.Simeon Th.Pally, appreciated UGM and government for their care. He hoped the programme would help accelerate the development there.
Rector of UGM, Prof. Dr. Pratikno, M.Soc., Sc., said UGM is committed to succeed the Island Adoption programme by helping manage one island, namely Alor.
Pratikno said such management was very important to do as it would give contribution to national economic growth.
“Currently, Indonesian macroeconomic growth is increasing, but microeconomy is very poor,” he said.
“Our marine sector only contributes to 34 percent. This is very different from others such as Iceland, Thailand, and Chille whose fisheries sector contribute up to 30 - 50 percent,” he added.
Pratikno reiterated that Indonesia should start the awakening of Indonesian economy. This could be done by, among others, exploring the unbeatable marine resources.