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Jakarta Post

Borneo road, railway projects ‘world’s scariest environmental threat'

  • Kharishar Kahfi

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Sun, February 3, 2019   /  12:36 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Green earth: Taken from an airplane, this picture shows the Heart of Borneo rainforest conservation area in Kapuas Hulu regency, West Kalimantan. World Wildlife Fund (WWF) branches in three countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam, are set to implement a green economy program. (thejakartapost.com/Severianus Endi)

When President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo began his tenure in 2014, he uttered his wish to finish a number of infrastructure projects immediately, including the construction of a highway and a railway in Kalimantan. With dense forests, mountains and many rivers, Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the Borneo island, is faced with transportation problems that have increased production costs. According to the Public Works and Housing Ministry, there were only 6,363 kilometers of main roads connecting cities and provinces across Kalimantan in 2014 and only 68 percent of them were in good condition. The construction of roads in Kalimantan started in 2015 and, recently, concerns were raised by experts who said that such infrastructure projects were “the world’s scariest environmental threat” and could impact the lives of rare animal species such as orangutans and ...