21 March 2023

Transparency International Dialogue on Fair and Transparent Blue Economy

Co-founder of IOJI, Stephanie Juwana, participated as a speaker in a discussion about a fair and transparent blue economy in Indonesia on March 21, 2023.

Co-founder of IOJI, Stephanie Juwana, summarized four aspects that should be considered in the development of a blue economy, ranging from justice to transparency.

Transparency International (TI) Indonesia, Destructive Fishing Watch (DFW) Indonesia, and the Pusat Studi Agraria (PSA) of Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) organized a dialogue on a fair and transparent blue economy in Indonesia.

Held on March 20-21, 2023, this dialogue facilitated government officials, civil society, professional associations, fishing groups, and academics to map out challenges in implementing blue economy programs.

IOJI co-founder, Stephanie Juwana, was also a speaker in this discussion. She began her presentation titled “Governance to Realize a Just Blue Economy.”

Stephanie emphasized that the blue economy agenda should not solely focus on increasing monetary contributions from marine resources. The aspects of sustainability of marine resources and justice must not be sacrificed. In the working paper “Blue Growth and Blue Justice” in 2020, Bennett et al. presented 10 injustices in the sea that could occur if justice aspects are not considered in the blue economy agenda. These include:

  1. Dispossession, displacement, and ocean grabbing
  2. Environmental injustices from pollution and waste
  3. Environmental degradation and reduced availability of ecosystem services
  4. Impact on small-scale fishermen’s livelihoods
  5. Loss of access to marine resources necessary for food security and well-being
  6. Uneven distribution of economic benefits
  7. Social and cultural impacts of marine development
  8. Marginalization of women
  9. Human rights violations
  10. Exclusion from decision-making and governance

In her conclusion, Stephanie noted several aspects to consider in blue economy development, including:

  1. Not solely focusing on increasing income from the marine sector, but also considering justice aspects
  2. Justice aspects can be expressed through recognitional, procedural, and distributional justice
  3. Achieving a just blue economy requires governance reform
  4. Transparency is a crucial aspect in governance

Advocating for the Community

On the same occasion, TI Indonesia, DFW Indonesia, and PSA IPB launched a policy paper titled “Guidelines for Blue Economy Policy in Indonesia.” This policy paper broadly highlights that Indonesia’s blue economy appears to be still not favoring its main subjects, namely local coastal communities and traditional small-scale fishermen.

Some of the policy paper recommendations submitted to the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) include:

  1. Monitoring, supervision, and law enforcement, from licensing to evaluating blue economy policy implementation and being responsive to local wisdom.
  2. Digital transformation and technology (data interoperability and integration, artificial intelligence, etc.) need to be a concern for the KKP to ensure up-to-date data integration a fundamental step to ensure transparency and accountability of relevant institutions.
  3. Harmonization and collaborative government-style blue economy policy formulation, from central-level ministries to provincial governments and technical implementers at the local level to ensure blue economy policies remain within the correct framework.
  4. Participatory community involvement in formulating rules and derivative policies to ensure existing rules favor the community, not just the interests of large-scale fishermen and entrepreneurs.
  5. Advocating for the translation of the blue economy, not just in normative definitions, but returning to a definition of a just blue economy that does not lead to unrestricted blue growth and encroachment.
  6. Collaborative efforts that extend beyond closed spaces, with civil society also needing to engage on the ground to embrace and observe existing realities.


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