The maritime minister wants to give the kids “the eyes” to appreciate marine life.
Susi Pudijastuti, Indonesia’s maritime affairs minister, has come up with an unconventional way to save reefs from marine pollution: it is to give free goggles to children in Indonesia’s coastal regions. This, she believes, will help the next generation appreciate the reefs and be inspired to take care of them.
The initiative started after Pudijastuti saw how children in these remote areas would just watch tourists snorkel for hours without fully knowing what tourists see or experience under water.
“I just realised in one moment: how can we ask them, how can we push them to take care of the beauty of the underwater world if they don’t even see how beautiful it is,” she said, “I realised, what we see, they don’t see.”
This programme has now distributed over 2,000 pairs of goggles to in West Papua, Maluku, Sulawesi, and Nusa Tenggara.
As Indonesia is known the be the biggest polluter next to China, the minister hopes that this will change through children being able to understand and cherish their natural resources.
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