Indonesia has started the of counting its to better protect its and marine resources. It wants to locate and name an 1,700 islands in time for the UN Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names in August. Indonesia wants and fishing rights surrounding the islands, many of its neighbors claim. Indonesia says fishing is costing billions of dollars in lost each year. A spokeswoman told the BBC: "Sixty per cent of islands in Indonesia don't have a name or… status, so they can be taken…by another country."
Indonesia is the world's largest . In 2012, it registered 13,466 islands. A 1996 estimated there were 17,508 islands. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea says an island is, "a formed area of land, surrounded by , which is still exposed at tide". A government spokesman explained the of the job the counting team had. He said: "We have to visit one of these islands, and then we note the , the name, the meaning of the name, the history of the land and describe the and its geographical history…all that in great ."