14 countries participate in Western Pacific Naval Symposium

... all countries in the Pacific region to care about the environment...
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Delegates from 14 countries are taking part in the Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) here, which focuses on environment-related issues.

"The delegates are joining a meeting of the Environmental Working Group," the deputy naval chief of staff, Vice Admiral Marsetio, said on the sidelines of the opening of the symposium here on Wednesday.

The 14 participating countries include Indonesia, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, China, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Canada, the Philippines, Singapore, and the United States.

The symposium would focus on environment-related issues, following up on the outcome of the previous symposium held in Tahiti in 2011, Marsetio said.

He added environmental issues were important because they had "implications for the existence of life on earth".

"The environment-related issues include global warming and marine pollution. Therefore, a number of delegates will plant trees near Ecopark at the Jaya Ancol Dream Land in Jakarta. We want all countries in the Pacific region to care about the environment," he said.

One of main speaker was Prof Emil Salim, an Indonesian economist and also former minister of environmental. 

Established in 1987, WPNS is a cooperation forum of the navies of Western Pacific countries. It aims to discuss maritime affairs in the region and the possibility of cooperation among WPNS members.

The forum has 24 members, with 20 member states and four observers. The 20 WPNS member states are Indonesia, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, China, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the United States, Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Russia, Tonga, France, Canada, and Chile, while the four observer countries are India, Bangladesh, Peru, and Mexico.

WPNS is also a consultative forum for the navies of the Western Pacific countries to discuss issues related to maritime security.

It aims to make the Pacific Ocean free from terrorism, smuggling, and piracy and to enhance cooperation among member states in natural disaster mitigation missions. (*)