US pledges support for Indonesia’s drone surveillance in tackling illegal fishing
- The US will enable Indonesia’s Maritime Security Agency Bakamla to ‘procure drones, pilot training, and maintenance’ for law enforcement on the seas
- Washington is also launching two new programmes that will protect Indonesia’s marine biodiversity, critical mangrove ecosystems
Under the newly unveiled cooperation, the US would enable Indonesia’s maritime security agency Bakamla to “procure drones, pilot training, and maintenance that will significantly enhance Bakamla’s capabilities related to maritime domain awareness, maritime law enforcement, and countering illegal fishing”.
Bakamla had said it would use the centre to respond to “the challenges of ensuring security and safety at sea”.
“What’s especially significant here is Bakamla’s capacity building, on the whole its own buildup pales in comparison to the [Indonesian navy as] the latter enjoys greater access to funding, given it remains a dominant maritime security institution,” Koh said.
“Bakamla’s acquisition of drone capability will help boost its overall maritime security capacity and ... reduce its dependence on [the Indonesian military] for air support.”
The programme is among several new deals agreed by Jakarta and Washington, with the end goal of “pursuing a better future” for the two countries, according to Biden.
Biden also applauded the “historic pandemic fund” that current G20 chair Indonesia launched on Sunday to boost preparedness in low- and middle-income countries for future pandemics.
On his part, Widodo welcomed Biden to Bali and hoped that the G20 Summit “will be able to produce complete cooperation that will help global economic recovery”.
Washington also said both countries had successfully concluded negotiations to launch a US$698 million Millennium Challenge Corporation compact.
The new deal would support “the development of high-quality, climate-conscious transport infrastructure in five provinces; mobilise international capital in support of Indonesia’s development goals, in part by building the capacity of Indonesia’s financial markets; and increase access to finance for Indonesia’s women-owned businesses and micro, small, and medium sized enterprises,” the White House said.
The US International Development Finance Corporation will also team up with France’s hydrogen power producer HDF Energy’s investment in Indonesia called “Renewstable”, which combines renewable energy and storage backed by batteries and green hydrogen, to deliver stable power to electricity grids.