International Workshop on Blue Economy 2023 Calls for South-South Cooperation in Accelerating Blue Economy

International Workshop on Blue Economy 2023 Calls for South-South Cooperation in Accelerating Blue Economy


Lukas Andri Surya Singarimbun

Manager of Research Outputs, Center for World Trade Studies Universitas Gadjah Mada.


Maria Angela Koes Sarwendah

Head of Research and Publication Division, Center for World Trade Studies Universitas Gadjah Mada.

Center for World Trade Studies Universitas Gadjah Mada (CWTS UGM) held an International Workshop on Blue Economy (5/12). This event marks the final agenda of Circular Economy Forum (CEF) 2023 that started in early July. This year's International Workshop sets “Sailing Together towards Blue Growth: Tailoring Collaborative Approaches Linking Communities, Governments, and Businesses” as its theme. 

The International Workshop on Blue Economy 2023 is designed in an interactive academic discussion format, highlighting the essential contributions of researchers and academicians to blue economy development in Indonesia and the Global South. The workshop gathers selected participants from CEF 2023’s Call for Papers to present and discuss their research in a closed forum. Following the presentation session, the public were later invited into an open public hearing session—moderated by Suci Lestari Yuana and Muhammad Rasyid Ridho—to convey their opinion and perspective over the presentations’ results. Discussions in both sessions are centered on two main topics, namely International Regulation on Fisheries and International Blue Economy Practices, as well as Circularizing Blue Economy and Development in Indonesia Context. 

In contrast to circular economy workshops held by CWTS UGM in the previous years, this year’s International Workshop on Blue Economy produces a collaborative policy recommendation from each participant—both the presenters with their academic perspective and the public. The proposed policy recommendation had also covered the view of each stakeholder involved in each CEF event regarding the blue economy, which will be disseminated and advocated to relevant international and national stakeholders in 2024. This is to support what Mario Aden Bayu Valendo, the Head Committee of CEF 2023, had conveyed at his CEF brief report delivery at the beginning of the event. 

“Our aim is clear – to create a platform that upholds a multi-party dialogue. This dialogue involves not only the local communities but also the government, private sector, academia, and the international society. It is time to weave the fabric of our blue economy by integrating the voices and aspirations of those who reside closest to our oceans,” said Mario. 

Lukas Singarimbun, S.I.P, researcher from CWTS UGM, also stated in his opening remarks regarding the main purpose of the International Workshop on Blue Economy, which is to bridge the gap of comprehension and adoption found in blue economy’s practices. 

“Today, we aim to bridge that gap by enhancing understanding, both conceptually and practically, empowering communities to harness the sea's potential while prioritizing environmental sustainability,” said Lukas.

Andreas Sennekamp, Head of the Academic outreach and WTO Chairs Programme Section, also emphasized multi-stakeholder collaboration in blue economy practices to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Sennekamp also reiterated the importance of implementing rules based activities of the fisheries industry to mitigate the adverse impacts of illegal fishing. 

As the final event of CEF 2023, the International Workshop on Blue Economy is specifically dedicated to the late Director of CWTS UGM, Dr. Riza Noer Arfani, to honor his recent passing. Dr. Riza had devoted his energy and ideas to foster an inclusive sustainable trade development, primarily through mainstreaming the circular economy in Indonesia by involving local communities alongside various stakeholders. His passion created a path to the establishment of the Circular Economy Forum, which had its prototype event in 2021. 


In a moment of silence session, Lukas delivered the WTO Chairs Programme message regarding Dr. Riza. “Prof. Riza Arfani has been a part of the very first cohort of Chairs accepted to the Programme. The WTO Chairs Programme, the global scientific community, and Indonesia have benefited from his exceptional efforts and contributions, and the team in the Universitas Gadjah Mada has been an active part of the Programme for over a decade under his leadership. Please accept our condolences regarding your loss. Nothing can replace Prof. Arfani's presence at this event, and we will not forget how valuable his life was.” Additionally, Lukas also stated that CWTS UGM will always remain committed to his visions in producing and disseminating knowledge of the circular economy.

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