Tribute to Dr Aryo Hanggono

We are saddened to announce the sudden and unexpected passing of Dr Aryo Hanggono, also known as Pak Aryo, Director General for Marine Spatial Management of the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of the Republic of Indonesia and representative of the ICRI co-chair for Indonesia on September 28, 2020, in Jakarta, following a two week battle with Covid-19. He is survived by his wife, Rina Thariana his children, Dito Aria Rahman, Dania Arsella Rahman and Devina Audria Rahman.

Pak Aryo was a brilliant civil servant with almost 30 years of service in the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) and the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (KKP). Pak Aryo was born in Bogor on July 23, 1965. He grew up in Bandung where he completed his formal education at the best institutions in the city. He attended his primary and secondary schools at SD Negeri Merdeka 5, SMP Negeri 5, and SMA Negeri 3. He then pursued his undergraduate education at Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), majoring in Regional and Urban Planning, between 1983-1989. He later obtained his Master and Doctorate degrees from the Universite de Paris X – Nanterre, France, between 1993-1998.

Pak Aryo started his civil servant career at the BPPT in 1990. Since the establishment of the KKP in 1999, he has served as a top figure at various divisions within the ministry under different administrations from President Abdurrahman Wahid’s era to President Joko Widodo’s leadership. Among the top positions he held, he served as the Director of the Center of Marine Research and Technology, Secretary to the Agency for Marine and Fisheries Research and Development, Adviser for Minister Susi Pudjiastuti, and his last position was Director-General of Marine Spatial Management under the minister Edhy Prabowo, the Indonesian Co-Chair for ICRI.  Pak Aryo provided his excellent services for ICRI activities in Indonesia and supported Minister Eddy’ ICRI Co-Chair tasks.

The inception of KKP has led significant progress in the fisheries and marine sectors in Indonesia, in which Pak Aryo noticeably left his legacy. With the guidance of Dr Dwisuryo Indroyono Soesilo, Pak Aryo and his fellows developed the Southeast Asia Center for Ocean Research and Monitoring (SEACORM) as the collaborative regional initiatives that focus on marine observation in the Indonesian seas and the broader region, serving the need to understand oceanic processes relevant to oceans primary productivity and regional climate. The establishment of the Institute initiated the implementation of SEACORM for Marine Research and Observation (IMRO) in Perancak-Bali, which was built through tremendous supports of Pak Aryo. He promoted strong international collaborations that include the set-up of the Infrastructure Development of Space Oceanography in Indonesia (INDESO) program with France, the expansion of the moored buoy arrays program in the Indian Ocean with NOAA-USA, and the continuation of a collaborative research program with Columbia University-USA to monitor the Indonesia Throughflow.

The establishment of IMRO is a cornerstone of Pak Aryo’s long and splendid career. He envisioned IMRO as a leading marine institution providing guidance for Indonesian fishermen in locating potential fishing grounds as well as serving information to other stakeholders on the role of the Indonesian seas in regulating the regional climate. To achieve his vision, he and his colleagues collaborated with Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS)-France in setting up a satellite receiver system at IMRO, a high technology system collecting valuable information for fishermen as well as law enforcement in minimizing illegal fishing activities.

Achieving the objectives set by KKP requires highly skilled human resources. Cognisant of these needs, Pak Aryo persuaded talented Indonesian graduates to join KKP and strongly encouraged them to pursue higher education. He was very supportive of all collaborative programs that facilitate KKP employees to obtain Master’s or and Doctorate degrees.

Pak Aryo was an effective negotiator with a strong vision, respected by his fellow countrymen and international peers. Among his junior peers, he was very well known as a caring chief and great mentor who prioritized friendly human relationships over the rigid bureaucratic structure. His laughter was contagious, making people surrounding him relax and work effectively.

He was a problem solver and always tried to make someone’s life easier. Navigating layers of bureaucracy is a challenge for a civil servant. Pak Aryo excelled at this as he always found ways to complete his and other’s responsibilities. This is similar to his hobby of playing the piano in a band, in which he synchronised with the other band members to perform a song, no matter how talented the singer was.

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