Jakarta, July 5th, 2023 – National stability necessitates a robust security system, including at sea. Economic, political, and technological dynamics have a significant impact on maritime security. The current maritime security challenges are no longer confined to traditional issues, but also extend to non-traditional challenges, including those posed by climate change.
Understanding the forms and sources of maritime security threats, as well as the level of awareness and capability of the current national maritime security system, is crucial for developing a plan to strengthen the national maritime security system. This enhancement aims to safeguard development targets, particularly in the maritime sector.
Building upon this context, the Indonesia Ocean Justice Initiative (IOJI) partnered with the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs (Kemenko Polhukam) and the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF) to organize a seminar and workshop on maritime security titled “Developing Maritime Security to Support the Achievement of the National Long-Term Development Plan (RPJPN) Targets 2025-2045”. During the opening remarks at the hybrid seminar held on both physical and virtual platforms on Wednesday, July 5th, 2023, the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Mahfud MD, stated that the national geopolitical situation is generally stable.
However, Indonesia still faces several maritime security challenges related to technological advancements. “If not addressed promptly, technological developments can facilitate maritime cyber risks.” “One of the key visions of the RPJPN 2025-2045 is the development of the maritime sector, the success of which is underpinned by maritime security,” Mahfud stated. Following the guidance of President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, Mahfud called upon all Indonesian maritime stakeholders to: (1) share a common understanding; (2) prioritize national interests; (3) prioritize collective national interests; (4) prioritize joint interests in managing security, safeguarding sovereignty, and territorial waters in governance; and (5) ensure effective coordination.
The Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs specifically reminded all Indonesian maritime stakeholders to “synergize and coordinate effectively as stipulated in Government Regulation No. 13 of 2022 on the Implementation of Security, Safety, and Law Enforcement in Indonesian Waters and Indonesian Jurisdictional Waters.” Meanwhile, in the introductory speech by the CEO of IOJI, Mas Achmad Santosa quoted the statement of the United Nations Secretary-General: “There will be no development without peace or security, and there will be no peace or security without development,” and emphasized that a responsive and robust maritime security system is a prerequisite for development. Mas Achmad Santosa stated that the development direction outlined in the RPJPN 2025-2045 needs to be safeguarded and refined, including the aspect of maritime security, so that various challenges ahead can be overcome. “IOJI is committed to continue advocating and supporting the government in strengthening the maritime security system,” added Mas Achmad Santosa.
The seminar “Developing Maritime Security in the RPJPN 2025-2045” is divided into two panels. The first panel featured three speakers: Member of Commission 1 and Legislative Body of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR RI), Christina Aryani; Head of the Indonesian Maritime Security Agency, Rear Admiral TNI Aan Kurnia; and Assistant to the Chief of Naval Staff for Operations, Rear Admiral TNI Denih Hendrata, representing the Chief of Naval Staff.
Christina Aryani presented her perspective on the importance of a national maritime security strategy. According to Christina, there are currently over a dozen agencies with responsibilities for maritime governance. With numerous agencies and limited resources, a streamlined organization would enable efficient utilization of patrol and surveillance resources. “However, it seems impossible to assign responsibility to just one agency given the vast number of islands in Indonesia. In any form, the Indonesian House of Representatives supports improving maritime security governance, forming legislation post-evaluation of government regulations and presidential decrees, overseeing the performance of maritime security-related partners, including budget allocation,” Christina continued. She added that the initiative for the Maritime Bill (RUU Kelautan) should come from the government.
Rear Admiral TNI Aan Kurnia, in his presentation on the topic “Strategies and Steps to Build Trustworthy and Professional Maritime Security Governance,” highlighted several factual conditions in Indonesia’s waters and jurisdiction, including: (i) The biggest threats to Indonesia still revolve around illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, followed by crimes at sea, pollution, and cyber-based maritime crimes. (ii) The government’s presence at sea and maritime observation is not yet 24/7. (iii) There are overlapping regulations related to supervision with limited functions and authority.
He revealed several concepts that could support the transformation of law enforcement at sea, both in the short and long term. “In the short term, enhancing the synergy of maritime security management and revising Law No. 32/2014 on Maritime Affairs. For the long term, it can be achieved through regulatory arrangements of related laws in maritime security through the Omnibus Law on Maritime Security,” he stated. Rear Admiral TNI Denih Hendrata concluded the presentation.
In his presentation themed “Interpreting the Universal People’s Defense and Security System for Archipelagic State Defense and Security,” Denih stated that the Indonesian Navy (TNI AL) has several maritime defense strategies. “The Archipelagic Sea Defense Strategy (SPLN) is not a navy-centric national defense strategy, but a defense strategy that prioritizes Indonesia’s critical capabilities as an archipelagic nation with a layered defense concept balanced by the development of the well-coordinated, interoperable, and synergistic Tri Matra Terpadu capabilities,” Denih stated.
The discussion continued in the second panel with Bobby Adhityo Rizaldi, a Member of Commission I and Co-chair of the Maritime Caucus of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR-RI). Bobby presented on the topic “Developing Maritime Security Based on Grey Zone Operations to Support Indonesia as the World’s Maritime Axis.” Bobby stated that crimes at sea, including slavery on ships, are still rampant against Indonesian citizens. To address these issues, “strengthening regulations, infrastructure, and institutions that govern the tasks, functions, and authorities of maritime stakeholders are needed,” he said. Furthermore, Indonesia is still facing IUU Fishing in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). He specifically referred to China’s Grey Zone Operations in the South China Sea, where various violations have adversely affected Indonesia. To anticipate this, Bobby argued that the Indonesian government needs internationally accepted and capable civil organizations, akin to paramilitary organizations, to ensure Indonesia is prepared to face Grey Zone Operations similar to China’s in the South China Sea.
The next speaker, Bogat Widyatmoko, Deputy for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs at BAPPENAS, presented on the topic “Developing Maritime Security in RPJPN 2025-2045 to Safeguard the Achievement of Long-Term Development Targets.” According to Bogat, there is a need to accelerate policy, strategy, and program transformations as game changers to achieve Indonesia’s Golden Vision 2045. In the sector of national maritime security, RPJPN 2025-2045 promotes the transformation of integrated security, safety, and law enforcement institutions in Indonesian waters and jurisdiction under a single legal framework. This transformation is required to achieve effective and efficient security, safety, and law enforcement (KKPH) in Indonesian waters and jurisdiction, based on technology.
The last speaker was Collin S.L. Koh from the Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. In his presentation titled “Regional Maritime Security Challenges: Now and the Next 20 Years,” Collin conveyed that non-traditional challenges such as IUU fishing, illegal trade, and marine pollution will persist for the next 20 years. Collin added that the geopolitical situation in conflict-prone regions such as the South China Sea should be taken seriously as it could escalate non-traditional threats into traditional ones.
He reminded the audience, “Instead of decreasing, coordination and collaboration among stakeholders should increase.”
Following the seminar, discussions continued with a workshop involving representatives of key maritime security stakeholders in Indonesia from various ministries, institutions, government organizations, as well as maritime security experts from the University of Indonesia, Brawijaya University, and the Rajaratnam School of International Studies. This was done to formulate an integrated maritime security strategy aligned with the RPJPN.
The upcoming maritime security challenges must be faced together and can no longer be addressed solely in a sectoral manner. Collaboration among various parties is the key to achieving the long-term development targets for 2025–2045.***.
For further information and interview requests, please contact: Grace Binowo, Director of Maritime Security & Access to Justice Program at IOJI, firstname.lastname@example.org, +62 811- 8460-065.
IOJI is a think-tank and policy advocacy institution that supports Indonesia, as the world’s largest archipelagic nation, in realizing ocean governance based on effective protection, sustainable utilization, and equitable welfare principles. IOJI collaborates with both state and non-state actors to influence decision-making processes at national, regional, and international levels by providing evidence-based policy recommendations. IOJI also engages in mentoring and empowering communities whose livelihoods depend on the ocean, such as small-scale fishers, women fishers, laborer fishers, coastal residents, and migrant fishing boat crews, to defend and fight for their basic rights.