Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) urged heads of state attending the 10th World Water Forum to take actions aimed at actualizing inclusive and sustainable water management.

Jokowi said that the world's largest water-themed meeting is supposed to encourage world leaders to take concrete actions and reaffirm their joint commitment to exchanging insights, formulating innovative solutions, and paving a way for integrated management of water resources.

"This (forum) is meant to reaffirm our commitment and formulate concrete actions related to inclusive and sustainable water management," he remarked while opening the forum's High-Level Meeting in Bali on Monday, as cited from the Communication and Informatics Ministry's statement received here.

Jokowi emphasized that water plays a critical role in human life and might be referred to as "the next oil" in the future, noting that water shortages could slow down economic growth by up to six percent by 2050.

Acknowledging the critical importance of water, the president affirmed that Indonesia has been striving to strengthen its water infrastructure by constructing 42 dams and developing 1.18 million hectares of irrigation networks in the last decade.

Moreover, the Indonesian government has rehabilitated irrigation networks covering an area of 4.3 million hectares and developed 2,156 kilometers of flood control and coastal protection structures, he added.

The president further remarked that Indonesia has been utilizing water to operate the Cirata Floating Solar Power Plant in West Java, which stands as the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia.

"However, all these efforts are not enough. We can expect even more complicated issues related to water and sanitation in the future. We need to make similar efforts at the global level by involving countries, private actors, and civil society," he stated.

In his speech, Jokowi also introduced four initiatives endorsed by Indonesia, namely the designation of World Lake Day, the establishment of a Center of Excellence on Water and Climate Resilience, integrated water resources management on small islands, and fundraising for water projects.

The four initiatives are expected to be put forward in the forum's first-ever ministerial declaration, which will be officially adopted on May 21.

He then expressed his belief that water can connect and unite countries across the world.

"Preserving water is our collective responsibility," he concluded.

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Translator: Mentari D, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Anton Santoso
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