The bill was initiated by the government to strengthen Indonesia’s legal standing in negotiations or claims for settlement of maritime boundaries with neighboring countries, she informed in a press release here on Saturday.
"Since 2017, the ministry has initiated in submitting the bill to the President, while the related ministries and institutions have reviewed it," she added.
She also noted that the bill has currently been included in the National Legislation Program (Prolegnas) of the 2021 Priority Bill.
Hence, the ministry will continue to accommodate the aspirations of academics and experts in the marine sector to refine the contents of the bill, the acting director general said.
The utilization of the continental shelf in Indonesia currently covers fisheries activities, exploration of oil, gas and minerals, establishment of submarine pipelines and cables, construction of marine structures, research on geophysical-based conservation and submarine volcano locations, she informed.
The ministry plans to encourage the use of marine bio-pharmacology, marine biotechnology, the use of sea waves apart from energy, marine tourism, salt production, and retrieval of valuable objects from sunken ships (BMKT), she added.
"The Continental Shelf Bill will not only regulate the utilization of marine environment, but also attempts to protect it, such as preventing pollution and environmental destruction, as well as mitigation, rehabilitation, and recovery efforts," Lestari added.
Meanwhile, Gadjah Mada University academic I Made Andi Arsana said that to maintain Indonesia’s marine ecosystem well, it is necessary to conduct patrols.
"If we do not want the environment to be misused by other parties, we must be able to detect, guard, and patrol the waters," he said.