Indonesia Approves the Creation of a New Capital City

by SEA Wave
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A computer-generated render of the future presidential palace in Indonesia’s future new capital.

Continuing the initial plans set in 2019, more information about Indonesia’s new capital has been revealed. The Indonesian government is currently in the works of transferring Indonesia’s capital from Jakarta to the jungle area in East Kalimantan, Borneo.

The planned capital has been officially announced to be named Nusantara. Coming from the Javanese language, when translated the word Nusantara translates to archipelago.  Information about the new planned capital came into light after the House of Representatives approved a bill which contained the legal framework for the relocation of the capital. The new state capital law provided outlines for the creation of a government entity called the State Capital Authority and for the specification for the $32 billion allocated for the construction of the capital.

The relocation of the capital has been planned amid the Jakarta’s current congested ecological state. The megacity has been known to currently face a problem with the city sinking due to the overextraction of groundwater around the area. This has led to Jakarta being named as one of the world’s fastest-sinking cities. It is expected that by 2050, around a third of the city could be underwater.

According to the Indonesia Parliament TV, Suharso Monoarfa, the Minister of National Development Planning, had this to say about the relocation plans: “The new capital has a central function and is a symbol of the identity of the nation, as well as a new center of economic gravity,” adding that the relocation plan is expected to start at 2022, with the development lasting until 2045.

However, some criticism regarding the law has arisen amid concerns that the law was passed without that much consideration for environmental concerns. According to experts, the relocation could hasten the destruction of forests that are home to endemic species such as Bornean orangutans, sun bears, and long-nosed monkeys. The shift from Jakarta to Nusantara also carries the possibility of the rise of the palm-oil and logging industries. Additionally, the bill was presented and approved by the House of Representatives despite having limited public consultation. As of today, the Indonesian government has yet to provide an official response towards the criticism surrounding Nusantara.

Featured photo from AFP 

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