Knowledge for strengthening Ocean Resilience

Dippel, Beatrice / Irina Rafliana
The Current Column (2021)

Bonn: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), (The Current Column of 25 June 2021)

The Ocean is an existential part of Southeast Asia‘s cultural identities and heritage. At the same time, Southeast Asian countries are highly exposed to complex ocean-related risks and the consequences of global mean sea-level rise. Coastal communities are shaped by disaster histories, and they have developed considerable knowledge about surviving them. These experiences are, however, no longer sufficient in view of rapid population growth, increasing human mobility, infrastructure and technological developments. Recently, Peter Schoof, Germany’s Ambassador to Indonesia, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and Timor-Leste, emphasised the need to change the international perspective on Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific, not only in view of its influential role regarding economic growth, but also its resilience towards natural hazards and disasters. The UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development has just begun – and Southeast Asia will be in the limelight in 2022 with several political processes anchored in the region.

Southeast Asian countries manage marine risks and their knowledge of the ocean is formed by their interconnectedness, as well as by their cultural diversity. The interlinkages further the achievement of a practical everyday ocean resilience, as reflected in the “One ASEAN One Community” identity. Yet, what are the lessons and imminent challenges related to risk governance and ocean literacy in the region?

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