Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan affirmed that the Indonesian government will take legal action against those found disposing garbage into the sea.

He delivered the Indonesian government`s commitment during a meeting with Vice President of Sustainable Development of World Bank Laura Tuck and other state representatives at a closed-door event Towards Blue Economy in Washington, the United States.

Pandjaitan, who is also former coordinating minister for political, legal, and security affairs, noted in a statement on Friday that sustainability of the sea has become a priority for Indonesia, as oceans constitute two-third of the country`s territory.

Sea pollution through waste dumping has led to dire impact on the health of humans, who consume fish caught at sea. This issue is also detrimental for the tourism sector, as tourists are affected by it.

Furthermore, the government will strengthen law enforcement for industries that ignore environmental standards.

Based on the World Bank`s research, some 80 percent of the marine waste comes from land. Hence, the government will focus on improving the waste management system, especially in coastal areas.

"The government is currently concentrating on cleaning the contaminated Citarum River. According to the Washington Post in March 2017, Citarum River was the dirtiest in the world," he remarked.

The 297-kilometer-long river is contaminated with wastes from thousands of industries that mostly do not have suitable waste disposal facilities. In fact, there are some 27.5 million people whose lives depend on the river.

Pandjaitan stated that the Indonesian government is working with the World Bank team to improve the waste management system in coastal areas in the southern part of Java Island, South Sumatra, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi.

Furthermore, the government will install traps at the mouth of the river to block the flow of waste into the sea.

A comprehensive and holistic approach towards the waste management system is being developed and will be completed before the end of 2018, so it can be budgeted in 2019.

Moreover, Pandjaitan held a discussion on the issue of marine waste with Ocean Caucus Co-Chair Senator Dan Sulivan and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. Indonesia has received support from both senators and promised to address the issue with related parties in the United States.

In addition, he discussed the same issue with Congressman Don Young, who will visit Indonesia to discuss further details about it.

Reported by Ade Irma Junida

Reporter: antara
Editor: Heru Purwanto
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