Posted: February 9th, 2023

A legal discussion of the Indonesian Ocean Policy against the backdrop of international maritime laws.

A legal discussion of the Indonesian Ocean Policy against the backdrop of international maritime laws.
The Indonesian Ocean Policy is a comprehensive legal framework that governs the use and management of the country’s marine resources, including its territorial waters, exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and continental shelf. The policy is based on the principles of sustainable development, the rule of law, and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Under UNCLOS, Indonesia has the right to claim an EEZ extending up to 200 nautical miles from its baseline, within which it has sovereign rights over the exploration, exploitation, conservation, and management of living and non-living resources. It also has the right to claim a continental shelf extending beyond its EEZ, provided that it can demonstrate that the shelf is a natural prolongation of its land territory.

The Indonesian Ocean Policy aims to balance the interests of different sectors, including the maritime industry, fisheries, tourism, and the environment, and to ensure that the use of marine resources is sustainable and equitable. It also seeks to enhance the country’s capacity to protect its marine environment, including through the implementation of marine protected areas and the regulation of harmful activities, such as pollution and overfishing.

One of the key challenges facing the Indonesian Ocean Policy is the management of marine resources in the face of increasing demand and the potential for conflicts of interest. For example, the country’s EEZ is rich in oil and gas reserves, which have attracted significant investment from international oil companies. At the same time, the country’s fisheries sector is a major contributor to its economy, with millions of people dependent on the sector for their livelihoods.

To address these challenges, the Indonesian Ocean Policy includes a number of provisions aimed at promoting cooperation and consultation between different stakeholders. It also requires the development of comprehensive plans and policies for the management of marine resources, and the establishment of mechanisms for dispute resolution, such as arbitration and mediation.

In addition to UNCLOS, the Indonesian Ocean Policy is also influenced by other international maritime laws, including the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). These conventions set out the legal framework for the protection of the marine environment and the conservation of biodiversity, and are designed to complement and reinforce the provisions of UNCLOS.

The Indonesian Ocean Policy represents an important step towards the sustainable and equitable use of the country’s marine resources. While the policy is not without its challenges, it provides a framework for the management of these resources that is consistent with international law and the principles of sustainable development.

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