JAKARTA (ANTARA) – The Straits of Malacca and Singapore play an important role as they connect the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea and are busy narrow shipping lanes, the Ministry of Transport said.
„Therefore, we are concerned about the safety of ship navigation and its impact on the marine environment in these two straits,” the ministry’s secretary-general, Novi Riando, said in a statement on Thursday.
He delivered the remarks at the opening of the ASEAN Hydrographic Survey Workshop attended by the Ambassador of Japan to ASEAN, ASEAN Economic Community, ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Member States and international organizations and stakeholders. With interest in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
Riando noted that as part of efforts to address these concerns, the three coastal nations — Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore — have collaborated to improve ship safety and protect the marine environment from the negative impacts of shipping activities.
The 2023 ASEAN Hydrographic Survey is the culminating process under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the Japanese government and the three littoral countries in 2017. Under the MoU, they agreed to cooperate in carrying out hydrographic studies on the traffic separation scheme. TSS of Straits of Malacca and Straits of Singapore with funding received from Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF).
According to Riando, the main focus of the activity is to socialize the latest version of the electronic nautical chart of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
The latest version, developed by three coastal nations with support from Japan, provides vital information about deep waters, the status of shipwrecks, coral reefs and reefs in the water.
„The information will be very useful for ships passing through the Straits of Malacca and the Straits of Singapore, and will also contribute to maritime security,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Acting Director-General for Maritime Transport and Head of the Indonesian Delegation, Captain Antony Arif Priyadi, stressed that the Straits of Malacca and Singapore are strategic shipping lanes in the world.
He said the volume, length and geographical characteristics of traffic in the two straits are becoming a challenge for the three littoral countries to ensure the implementation of shipping safety and environmental protection.
„For this reason, the three littoral countries, together with Japan’s Malacca Straits Council, have launched a joint hydrographic survey project to improve shipping safety in the region,” he added.
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