Denpasar (ANTARA) - Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya has declared Bali to become a regional capacity center for environmental improvement, particularly to tackle the plastic waste issue which is concerned by the ministry and Denpasar city administration.

River revitalization is part of the efforts to reduce plastic waste. The Denpasar city administration confirmed that five of the 11 rivers in the area had been revitalized.

"In connection with the (river) revitalization, the (Denpasar) mayor had spoken to me of his rising concern over the rivers in Denpasar. We will support (the aspiration), and I have enquired about the funding (required) and ways in which the central government can extend support, as we have declared Bali as the regional capacity center (for environmental improvement)," Nurbaya stated at the inauguration of Badung River in Denpasar revitalized based on the Ecoparian concept here on Thursday.

Nurbaya explained that during a meeting between environment ministers in Bali last year, several countries had agreed on making serious efforts to address the problem of marine waste.

The minister pointed out that plastic waste polluting rivers and oceans has led to problems for years as it clogs waterways, increases the risk of flooding, and cause other grave environmental issues.

Moreover, during a recent meeting in Karuizawa City, Japan, G20 environment ministers also deliberated on various efforts to fight marine pollution in the Asia Pacific.

"Without a doubt, plastic waste has drawn the attention of the entire world. If we examine the world agreement, the program is conducted on the basis of mitigation, database, research, and, of course, main financial support," she elaborated. Several nations, including Poland, have expressed support to the move to declare Bali as a regional capacity center for environmental improvement.

Furthermore, Nurbaya had held discussions with her counterparts from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom on the issue of marine waste and Bali's role in addressing it.

"Bali is dynamic and has brave institutions to issue regulations (that can address the issue). It also has such supportive conditions created not only by the government but also private parties that help in taking real actions, including by providing trucks to transport waste from Kuta Beach," Nurbaya explained.

This action is in accordance with the government's commitment to realizing a 70 percent reduction in marine plastic waste through the issuance of Presidential Regulation Number 83 of 2018 on addressing marine waste.

The minister highlighted the importance of several parties forging synergy to encourage the community's participation for other actions, including creating a waste bank and monitoring the regional capacity center.

Translator: Yashinta Difa Pramudyani
Editor: Bambang Purwanto
Copyright © ANTARA 2019