A Lecture at CIL, National University of Singapore

I gave a lecture at the Center for International Law (CIL), National University of Singapore on 14 April 2023. It was a closed-door lecture for the topic was reasonable sensitive. I talked about maritime boundary delimitation in the South China Sea, especially regarding the one recently agreed upon by Indonesia and Vietnam.

Prof. Bob Beckman was there during the lecture attended by people from the Attorney General and the Marine and Port Authority. We had an intimate and engaging conversation about issues around the South China Sea. I also learned a lot from the interaction.

GeoSharing: Disseminating Geospatial Expertise and Research

The first program I am running as the new head of the Master of Geomatic Engineering is GeoSharing. The program provides students to share their ideas and curiosity regarding geospatial issues, research and application. One student is asked to prepare a presentation and other would comment and ask questions. That way, a good discussion can take place. This is my way to help students enhance their scientific capacity.

On the first episode of GeoSharing, the presentation was made by Calvin Wijaya, a master student, who was in the preparation of his final thesis examination. Calvin presented at GeoSharing as a ‘rehearsal’ for his thesis defense examination.  In addition, we also learned how to present scientific contents in a friendly manner, in such a ways that the laymen would also understand. That is not easy but possible.

In his thesis, Calvin explores the application of machine learning for automatic object recognition in terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) application.  Geospatial professionals generally understand the application of TLS in capturing objects in 3D manner. TLS can capture objects in such a way that the objects are geometrically accurate. However, recognising the description and character of the objects is a different thing. The main question is how to implement machine learning to automatically recognise  objects(name, type) captured using TLS.  I can imagine that the research can be widely applicable in the future.

Most important thing is that students learned how to create friendly environment for research and scientific activities. See you in the next GeoSharing.

Giving a Lecture on Maritime Boundaries in Southeast Asia at UNDIP

I started April 2023 with an exciting journey to Semarang, Central Java. I was invited to give a lecture at the Department of International Relation of Universitas Diponegoro. Why would a surveyor/engineer like me be invited to lecture future political scientists? Because maritime boundary is an important issue that those future diplomats, students of the International Relation of UNDIP, need to understand and I happen to focus my research and studies on the issue.

The lecture went well. I started the lecture in a fancy theatre hall. Everyone was excited until an accident took place. There was an electricity outage  and we have to wait a couple of minutes until we moved to another room. It was so exciting that the students enjoyed my class during even the waiting period. The theatre was dark  but it did not prevent them from asking quality questions. I really enjoyed the conversation.

In the new room, we also had fun and students were active in asking good questions. It was unfortunate that we run out of time so I need to stop. I had to return to Jogja for I would have a gathering with some students

A New Chapter of Life: Head of Study Program of Master of Geomatic Engineering

I have taken a bold decision to end my term as the Head of the Office of International Affairs (OIA) of Universitas Gadjah Mada. Since  1 April 2023 I am no longer the head of OIA after serving at the position for almost nine years. I served four rectors, three vice rectors and four different directors. What a journey.

Upon returning to the department of Geodetic Engineering, I am appointed as the Head of the Master Program in Geomatic Engineering. This is a new world for me but I am sure, this can also be super exciting. The program has been there for more than 20 years and has around 40 students at one time.  I am continuing the role of Ibu Yeni, my senior, who is now appointed as the head of the doctor study program. She has done great during her term and I will need to fill a big shoes. I will do my best.

Ibu Yeni, my predecessor, and me

I tried to act swiftly. On the first week, I invited some students for a discussion to hear what they have to say. My first priority is to learn as much as possible s so I can work and serve as effective as I can. We decided to run some programs to help students gain more advantage during their study. The first program is GeoSharing where student can share their ideas on geospatial research and application in a friendly environment. The second one is InSharing (Instagram/Inspirative Sharing) where we will have an Instagram Live, conversing with prominent figure to talks about geospatial issues.

I am sure will be an exciting journey. As exciting as how I will make it to be.

Teaching at RECAAP Singapore

I was invited by ReCAAP (Singapore) to give a lecture on “United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in connection with piracy and sea robbery” on 27 Sep 2017 (Wednesday) afternoon in Singapore. This was the second time after my first one in Cambodia.

It was fun. Another great opportunity to network with important people in the field of maritime security in the region. I really hope that this can be a regular program where I can contribute my knowledge and also learn from different people.

Toleransi Berseri di Ujung Negeri

UGM mewajibkan mahasiswa S1 dan D4 untuk mengikuti Kuliah Kerja Nyata (KKN) dan cukup banyak dari mereka yang memilih untuk ber-KKN di pelosok negeri, jauh dari Kampus UGM di Yogyakarta. Tahun ini saya mendapat kepercayaan mendampingi sekelompok mahasiswa untuk ber-KKN di Desa Dalum, Kecamatan Salibabu, Kabupaten Talaud, Sulawesi Utara. Secara singkat, kami biasa menyebutnya KKN Talaud.

Talaud adalah kabupaten paling utara di Indonesia dan sangat banyak orang Indonesia yang bahkan tidak mengetahuinya sama sekali. Setiap kali saya bercerita tentang Talaud, saya harus mengutip lagu iklan Indomie “dari Sabang sampai Merauke, dari Timor sampai ke Talaud”. Menariknya, tidak sedikit yang kemudian heran dan baru sadar bahwa ada kata Talaud dalam lagu itu. Rupanya sangat banyak yang mendengar “dari Sabang sampai Merauke, dari Timor sampai Kota Laut”. Tentu saja maknanya berbeda dan hilang satu titik penting di negeri ini: Talaud, kabupaten paling utara negeri.

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Educating Glocal Citizens

SEAMEO RIHED invited me to be a keynote speaker at a conference held in Jakarta on 4 April 2017 on on Curriculum Structure and Development for Southeast Asian Higher Education. Here is my abstract:

Education Towards Locally-Rooted and Globally-Engaged Generation

I Made Andi Arsana
Head, Office of International Affairs
Lecturer, Department of Geodetic Enggineering
Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia


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Settling Maritime Borders A Tough Job

Opinion, The Jakarta Post, 24 July 2017

In an official visit to Nunukan, East Kalimantan, on June 13, 2017, Ambassador Eddy Pratomo, the Special Envoy of the President for the Determination of Indonesia-Malaysia Maritime Boundaries, informed the progress of his assignment. He clearly noted that the two countries are now working hard toward the definition of fence at sea between them and some progress have been made.

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Diplomasi Kartografis di Laut Natuna Utara

Opini Kompas, 24 Juli 2017

Pemerintah Indonesia, melalui Kemenko Maritim telah mengeluarkan Peta Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia (NKRI) terbaru. Indonesia memang secara berkala mengeluarkan Peta NKRI. Yang istimewa dari Peta NKRI 2017 ini adalah adanya usulan penamaan ruang laut yang tadinya dikenal sebagai bagian dari Laut China Selatan (LCS), menjadi Laut Natuna Utara (LNU). Indonesia rupanya menggunakan kartografi sebagai ilmu dan seni pembuatan peta sebagai alat diplomasi.

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ICST: The Roles of Oil Concession Definition in Maritime Boundary Delimitation

I was invited to as one of the keynote speaker at the Geomaritime Symposium at the International Conference on Science and Technology (ICST) organised by Universitas Gadjah Mada. I delivered a paper on 12 July 2017 and share a stage with my two colleagues, Gede Karang from Udayana University and Mas Aji from a university in Malaysia. Here is my abstract:

The Roles of Oil Concession Definition in Maritime Boundary Delimitation:
A Critical Review on the Case of the Sulawesi Sea and the South China Sea

I Made Andi Arsana

Department of Geodetic Engineering, Faculty of Engineering
Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia


In the absence of agreed maritime boundaries, States usually have their unilaterally claimed boundary lines. In many cases, these lines represent the most forward possible line such States would want to he the final boundary lines. Thus, such lines are also known as forward positions, which are usually used by coastal States as their initial position in negotiating their maritime boundaries. In the case of Indonesia’s maritime boundaries, for example, these forward positions have been depicted clearly on its official map so they become obvious to its neighbours.

In the Sulawesi Sea, where maritime boundaries between Indonesia and Malaysia are pending, both States, using oil concession definition, have proposed their maritime claims defined by their forward positions. Indonesia, on one side, utilises oil concession it defined since the 1960s in defining its forward position. Malaysia, on the other hand, started to define its forward positions and then define oil concessions within those forward positions. The utilisation of oil concession definition to represent maritime claims has also been the case in the South China Sea as demonstrated by, for example, China and Vietnam.

This research presentation analyses the roles of oil concession definitions in defining forward position and how they may affect the delimitation of maritime boundaries between coastal States. The cases in the Sulawesi Sea and the South China Sea are investigated with reference to relevant cases in different parts of the world. Findings and conclusions are then presented.

Here is the cover of my presentation: