Badung, Bali (ANTARA) - The Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment launched the International Tropical Seaweed Research Center (ITSRC) in Badung District, Bali, on Wednesday.

The research center was launched together with the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, and the Ministry of National Development Planning.

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan stated that the ITSRC marked an important step in global collaboration for research, development, and upstream-to-downstream integration of the seaweed industry.

"The ITSRC will serve as a center for studies, scientific research, technology transfer, and capacity building in the seaweed industry," he affirmed.

The research center was built through collaboration of the government, global seaweed experts, national seaweed practitioners and associations, local and foreign universities, and development partners, including the World Bank, FAO, UNIDO, and UN Global Compact.

At the launch event, the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment also held a Seminar on Accelerating the Upstream-Downstream Integration of the Seaweed Industry.

The Indonesian government is seeking to encourage development of the seaweed industry downstreaming, such as by launching a pilot project for large-scale seaweed farming in Ekas Bay, East Lombok.

He noted that various studies show huge potential for seaweed derivative products, including biostimulants, organic fertilizers, food ingredients, bioplastics, and also biofuels.

Pandjaitan stated that seaweed downstreaming has high economic potential, where Indonesian seaweed exports in 2033 are projected to reach US$19 billion. Apart from that, every 100 hectares of land can employ 150 people.

In the seminar and the research center launch event, all involved parties summarized three commitments.

The first commitment is increasing capacity development and productivity and improving the tropical seaweed industry in line with sustainable development goals and the Indonesian Maritime Vision 2045: Indonesia as the world's maritime axis.

The second commitment is strengthening global collaboration for sustainable development of the tropical seaweed industry and promoting an integrated vision for human well-being, prosperity, and the planet.

Meanwhile, the third is developing and implementing concrete plans to strengthen establishment of the ITSRC.

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Translator: Ni Putu Putri, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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