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Foundation Details Next Phase in Restoring Indonesia's Fisheries 

February 21, 2017
Sustainably managed fisheries could generate additional $2.3 billion in revenue for fishing communities

BALI, INDONESIA– Today, at the Economist’s fourth annual World Ocean Summit, the Walton Family Foundation outlined its five-year strategy for sustainable fisheries across Indonesia, building on 10 years of work with fishermen and the government. Indonesia’s seafood industry is the second largest in the world, generating $5 billion in export revenue and employing more than 9 million people. Studies have estimated the country’s fishing industry could generate $2.3 billion more in revenue if its fisheries were sustainably managed.

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Justin Kenney

"Through our work in Indonesia over the past 10 years, we have learned that fishing smarter, not harder, at sustainable levels is the best way to make fisheries more plentiful and generate economic security for fishing communities,” said Rob Walton, chair of the foundation’s environment committee. “Every morning millions of Indonesian fishermen head out in small boats, many without motors, to make a living and feed their families. We are proud to continue our investments in Indonesia to improve its long-term economic prosperity while also protecting the health of the ocean.”

The Walton Family Foundation’s strategy will build upon the relationships and successes over the past 10 years. It is investing $32 million through the end of 2020 on initiatives that partner with the government, local partners, NGOs and businesses to advance fishing policies and practices that align Indonesia’s environmental, social and economic interests.

“This investment is a direct result of the Indonesian government’s leadership and commitment to advancing sustainable fishing practices,” said Barry Gold, environment program director. “We look forward to continuing our work with the government and the fishermen throughout the country so that these critical fisheries continue to thrive.”

The investments will support management reforms for a select number of economically and socially important fisheries, including blue swimming crab, tuna and snapper-grouper. Among the top priorities will be improving the ability of Indonesian fishery management agencies to use strong scientific information and tools as the basis for making decisions; supporting the implementation of rights-based fisheries management to secure long-term rights for local fishing communities; and implementing changes at every level of the supply chain so that seafood and fishing businesses are rewarded for adopting sustainable practices.

The foundation announced its approach for Indonesia during the Economist’s fourth annual World Ocean Summit, where businesses, industry groups, scientists, governments, ocean advocates and philanthropies come together to identify effective ways to shift from a conventional ocean economy to a “blue” economy that boosts ocean health and economic prosperity at the same time.

For the past three decades, the Walton Family Foundation has invested in conservation solutions that make economic sense. The foundation is focused on tackling one of the major threats to our oceans – overfishing – by identifying sustainable, locally-managed solutions that lead to more sustainable fisheries and more vibrant communities. It is currently working in the United States, Mexico, Peru, Chile and Indonesia. By empowering local fishermen and communities, setting fishing quotas based on reliable science, and harnessing the market to incentivize sustainable seafood, the foundation is working to bring together conservation groups, businesses and communities to restore the health of oceans for the long term.

About the Walton Family Foundation and its Environmental Initiatives

At the Walton Family Foundation, we believe that conservation solutions that make economic sense stand the test of time. We work to achieve lasting change by creating new and unexpected partnerships among conservation, business and community interests to build durable solutions to important problems.

Through its environmental initiatives, the foundation is investing in two of the most important conservation issues of our time: restoring the health of the oceans through sustainable fisheries, and preserving functioning rivers and the quality and availability of fresh water they provide. This work spans four initiatives: Oceans, Colorado River, Mississippi River and Coastal Gulf of Mexico.