Efforts to tackle oil spill pollution from ships in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore became an important topic in the Revolving Fund Committee (RFC) Technical Meeting, which was held virtually on Tuesday (28/7).
The RFC meeting was held under the umbrella of cooperation in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Governments of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore with Malacca Straits Council (Japanese Non-Government Associations) regarding the formation and operation of the Revolving Fund.
Ahmad, Director of Sea and Coast Guard Unit of the Ministry of Transportation of Indonesia, who acts as Indonesia's Head of Delegation (HoD), reiterates Indonesia's commitment to the maximum extent possible to keep shipping running smoothly while protecting maritime environment even though the world is being hit by Covid-19 pandemic.
"We (Indonesia) believe in and deeply appreciate the commitment of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan to make every effort to protect marine environment in Malacca Strait and Singapore Strait," he said.
For more than 30 years, Ahmad revealed, the RFC has succeeded in providing benefits to three Coastal States (Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore) in using these funds according to their purpose, namely as a platform of cooperation between coastal countries and as a reserve fund to facilitate disaster relief operations oil spill.
"I am sure, the three Coastal States can continue to maintain their enthusiasm to improve shipping safety and protect the marine environment in the Malacca Strait and Singapore Strait, particularly in combating oil spills from ships and continuing to establish good cooperation between coastal states and the Straits users," he added.
Head of Disaster Management and Underwater Works Sub-Director, Een Nuraini Saidah, revealed several agendas discussed in the 2020 RFC Technical Meeting, including an update on SOP for the implementation of Joint Oil Spill Combat in Malacca Strait and Singapore Strait.
Then, exchange experiences and information related to the MoU on Oil Spill Tariff between Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) Singapore, as well as latest updates related to RFC logo design competition and RFC website development.
"In addition, we also conveyed the plan to hold a national level Marpolex in 2020 which is likely to be held on August 24-28 in Balikpapan," Een revealed.
RFC was formed based on a MoU signed on February 11, 1981 by three Coastal States namely Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore with Malacca Straits Council (MSC) on behalf of Japanese non-government associations.
Based on the contents of the MoU, MSC provided donations to the Three Coastal States of 400 million yen to form a Revolving Fund, which was managed and operated by the Three Coastal States in turn, each for 5 years starting from 1981, in which Indonesia gets the first turn to manage the fund.
The three Coast States must form a Revolving Fund Committee, which is a representative of high / senior officials from each Coast State, which is administratively and operationally connected or involved in tackling pollution at the Sea.
They are Director General of Sea Transportation of the Ministry of Transportation of Indonesia, Director General of the Environment Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Malaysia, and Assistant Chief Executive of MPA Singapore.
"The country that has the turn to manage Revolving Fund will later become Chairman of the Committee or Chair of the Committee, and annually lead an annual meeting (RFC Annual Meeting)," Een explained. (hlz/hlz)