Indonesia has embarked on the of counting its islands in to better protect its territory and marine . It hopes to locate and name an 1,700 islands in time for the UN Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names in August. Indonesia wants to claim and fishing rights in the waters surrounding the islands, of which its also claim. The Indonesian government says fishing in its waters is costing billions of dollars in lost each year. A fisheries spokeswoman told the BBC: "Sixty per cent of islands in Indonesia don't have a name or officially have status, so they can easily be taken or claimed by another country."
Indonesia is the world's archipelago. At the last UN on geographical names in 2012, Indonesia registered 13,466 islands. A law in 1996 estimated that the of islands was 17,508. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea defines an island as, "a formed area of land, surrounded by water, which is still exposed at tide". A spokesman from Indonesia's Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries explained the scale of the the counting team had. He said: "We have to visit every of these islands, and then we note the , the name, the meaning of the name, the of the land and describe the landscape and its geographical history…all that in great ."