Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo announced Indonesia will be moving it’s capital in a televised speech Monday.
What We Know:
- After reviewing studies over the last three years, Widodo said the new capital city will move to the province of East Kalimantan on the island of Borneo due to the numerous issues in Jakarta including overcrowding, pollution and traffic congestion.
- Jakarta, on the island of Java, is also the world’s fastest sinking city in the world. Parts of the island are sinking as much as 10 inches a year and almost half of it sits below sea level. With the threat of rising sea levels and flooding, researchers say the city could be completely submerged by 2050.
- “The location is very strategic — it’s in the center of Indonesia and close to urban areas,” Widodo said. “The burden Jakarta is holding right now is too heavy as the center of governance, business, finance, trade and services.” The new city (which is still unnamed) has a much smaller risk of natural disasters.
- However, the approximately $33 billion move as early as 2021 still seems to have a negative effect on the environment, with Kalimantan being one of the few places on Earth where endangered orangutans live in their natural habitat. The province is also dealing with a surge in fire hot spots, which can be traced to farmers clearing out land for palm and pulp plantations.
Hopefully, a solution is worked out before it is too late.