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Cross-Border Cooperation on WPS & Maritime Environmental Crimes in the Coral Triangle: Workshop #2 Concludes with Strategic Policy Recommendations

Bali, Indonesia, April 29, 2024 Pacific Forum’s second workshop on CrossBorder Cooperation
on WPS & Maritime Environmental Crimes in the Coral Triangle, sponsored by the U.S. Indo
Pacific Command Office of Women, Peace & Security and held in partnership with the Coral
Triangle Center from April 2325, 2024, concluded with significant strides toward developing
genderresponsive policy recommendations for enhancing crossborder cooperation in
combating maritime environmental crimes in the Coral Triangle.

Defense and security experts and civil society stakeholders from Indonesia, Papua New
Guinea, and TimorLeste convened both virtually and in person in Bali, Indonesia to tackle
maritime environmental crimes from a gender perspective. “Maritime issues are observed to be
a very masculine issue. When fishers’ rights are infringed upon, it impacts the laborer’s right.
But the problem is, the decisionmakers of all their rights are men, even though the problem
also impacts the wife, daughter, or mother in their family. It is another problem when the solution
is not based on the gender perspective,” explained Jeanny Siriat of Destructive Fishing Watch.

The workshop aimed to develop a comprehensive list of policy recommendations incorporating
Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) principles into crossborder responses to maritime
environmental crimes, such as Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing; wildlife
trafficking; and pollution; ensuring effectiveness and inclusivity in addressing these crimes. The
event commenced with an informal opening, setting the tone for collaborative discussions and
interactive exercises.

Attendees explored common maritime environmental crimes occurring in Indonesia, Timor
Leste, and Papua New Guinea, along with their coillegalities and their impact on women and
men. Distinguished speakers, including Hesti Widodo from Coral Triangle Center and Andreas
Aditya Salim from the Indonesia Ocean Justice Initiative, provided insights into detection
initiatives and case studies highlighting the intersection of gender and environmental security.

Ruth Kissam of Advancing PNG Women Leaders Network commented: “There are many
pressures on our maritime environments from our communities and other external pressures.
What can we collaborate on and use our shared knowledge?”

Discussions also delved into the role of customary laws in maritime environmental protection
and the importance of indigenous knowledge systems in shaping legal frameworks. Speakers
such as Nelson Carvalho Belo from Fundasaun Mahein and Joyce Mavera from Piku Diversity

Network shed light on the challenges and opportunities in enforcing customary laws and coastal
tenure. Dr. Dedi S Adhuri of the Research Center for Society and Culture, National Research
and Innovation Agency noted: “The government acknowledges the rights of the traditional and
local communities, but the practice is being supported only after long and complicated
process/steps of verification The problem that arises is that there are a lot of practices, but only
a fraction are formally recognized by the government.”

“This unique workshop provided a forum specifically for maritime environmental practitioners to
collaborate with others in the region to identify legal and policy gaps, opportunities, and
resource requirements,” commented Dr. Delaina Sawyers, Senior WPS Analyst at

Foundational sessions also examined existing regional architectures for crossborder
cooperation and strategized ways to improve collaboration between defense forces, government
agencies, and civil society organizations. The workshop culminated in the development of a
regional roadmap for enhancing crossborder cooperation, emphasizing the integration of WPS

The WPS team at Pacific Forum remains committed to implementing the recommendations
generated from this workshop, thereby fostering greater cooperation and resilience in
addressing maritime environmental crimes in the Coral Triangle.

Key Finding HERE.


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About Pacific Forum: 

Pacific Forum is a non-profit think tank fostering dialogue, cooperation, and policy shaping in the Indo-Pacific region. For more information, visit


About USINDOPACOM’s Office of Women, Peace & Security:

USINDOPACOM’s Office of Women, Peace & Security (WPS) mainstreams gender perspectives into theater plans, programs, and policies in order to enable the USINDOPACOM enterprise to develop inclusive security strategies that advance a Free and Open Indo-Pacific. For more information, visit