Reducing Digital Gap for Blue and Green Economy

Bandung, 22 Maret 2022 – The ocean space offers numerous advantages in a variety of areas of human life. The implementation of marine spatial planning for the regions and the center, based on the blue economy principle, is required in order to improve the investment climate and provide business certainty in the marine space in a sustainable manner. Furthermore, the availability of other supporting infrastructure must be balanced with blue economy-based marine spatial planning. In this 4.0 era, the internet has become a requirement in order to increase competition in the world’s digital economy.

The T20 Indonesia, through the Goesmart 2022, was held virtually webinar on 22 March 2022 from 9:00 until 12:00 WIB. This event was chaired by Smart City and Community Innovation Center as a host institution of Task Force 2 T20 Indonesia 2022. The webinar, titled “Meaningful Broadband for Blue and Green Economy” was attended by Suhono H. Supangkat as Lead Co-Chair Task Force 2 and inviting Sakti Wahyu Trenggono (Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries RI), Firman Nurtafiana (Head of Community Economic Business Empowerment, DPMD Office of West Java), Danny Januar Ismawan (Director of Public & Government Service of BAKTI Kominfo), Glenn A. Woroch (UC Berkeley) and J. Scott Marcus (Senior Fellow, Bruegel).

Suhono opened the event by explaining and Introducing T20 (The G20 official engagement group that collaborates with national and international think tanks and serves as a policy bank for the G20). He explained there are several roles of T20 in G20 such as (1) providing analytical input into the G20 decision-making process, (2) providing independent recommendations which are based on empirical evidence, (3) promoting international cooperation by providing honest and foresight discussion among think tanks and researchers, (4) initiating policy dialogue on the issue that has not yet been covered in the formal forum.

The session continued with a keynote speech from the Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries RI, Sakti Wahyu Trenggono. He explained the main pillars of the blue economy that have been developed which are ecological health, economic growth, and social inclusion. He also said Indonesia’s marine domain management is undergoing a digital revolution

“Several platforms have been able to meet the digitalization needs in the marine and fisheries sectors. This innovative solution can be used for sensing, understanding, and acting” said Trenggono.

In his remark, he also appreciated the SCCIC plan to develop a living-lab process as a process initiated.

Afterward, the next session is a presentation session from the speakers. The first speakers are from the DPMD Office of West Java, Firman Nurtafiana. Firman shows the discussion is entitled “Policy Support to Ensure Sustainable Digitalization for Rural Ecosystem, West Java Village or Digital Village”. In his presentation, he explained the miraculous transformation that has been happened in West Java into digitalization.

“The Digital village program isn’t only about free Wi-Fi but also changing the way people trade, communicate, map potential, and promote tourism through a digital ecosystem to increase rural communities’ welfare,” said Firman.

Discussion continued with a presentation by Danny Januar Ismawan (Director of Public & Government Service of BAKTI Kominfo). Danny began his presentation by introducing BAKTI as a universal service obligation (USO) agency in the telecommunication sector under the ministry of communications and informatics. Indonesia is the biggest archipelago country in the world so it faces challenges to provide adequate telecommunication infrastructure equally. So that the main focus of BAKTI is in the 3T area (terdepan, terluar, tertinggal). He also said Digital Human Capital is important for digital and internet adoption. BAKTI has also partnered with several stakeholders in startups, universities, government agencies, telco operators, and digital firms.

“Digital access is an important way for society to go for a better future, hence internet connectivity is one of the fundamentals for society, and BAKTI is working for this,” said Danny.

And the last session is a presentation from Mr. Glenn and Mr. Scott that explains the digital gap reduction. Glenn explains about digitalization nowadays involves infrastructure but the digital gap can’t be avoided. He focuses on the Connectivity gap as there are the unserved (whose digital connectivity is very low), underserved (has connectivity but at low speed that’s inadequate for current digital tasks), and non-adopters (there is technology served but cannot afford it). Two major policy strategies to close the gap are: subsidizing broadband deployment where it is lacking and encouraging broadband adoption where it’s low.

Meanwhile, Mr. Scott emphasized the importance of connectivity today. He said that mobile connectivity nowadays has a central role by generating substantial economic benefits. The importance of this connectivity has escalated during the Covid-19 pandemic where people can only do their job by connecting via the device. But then, we are still trapped in the gap problem. The solutions should be different in a different countries. In addition to funding, good policymaking plays a key role by doing an appropriate identification, comprehensive statistics, mapping, creating, and implementing of a broadband plan, and they also act as regulatory independence from politics and lobbying.

There are many insightful statements during this webinar and mainly we understand that during this digital transformation all the problems we face today often can only be done by the internet. So many issues related to how we develop an application, how we develop human and digital capabilities skills should be developed. Bridging the gap is something that we have to finish first by bridging connectivity. This is not just the responsibility of the government or a certain entity. Instead, this is our own responsibility to come together and solve the problem.

Click here to watch the full video of the event:

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