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Jakarta Post

Indonesia's new capital plan risks Borneo rainforest

  • Kharishar Kahfi and Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, May 10, 2019   /  08:26 am
The Jakarta Post Image
A misty morning is pictured in the rainforest of Central Kalimantan — a source of clean air, regulator of climate and home to thousands of plant and animal species including the now critically endangered Bornean orangutan.(Greenpeace/Ulet Ifansasti)

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has concluded a two-day journey to different cities in Kalimantan in search of options to set up a new capital, after his administration decided to move ahead with a plan to create a new administrative hub away from overcrowded Jakarta. He said he was assessing the “feel” of each city touted as an option for the new capital. Upon completing the two-day city-hopping trip across the island, the President seemed impressed with at least two locations: Bukit Soeharto in East Kalimantan and the Triangle Area near Palangkaraya in Central Kalimantan. Read also: Bukit Soeharto: This forest park in East Kalimantan could be Indonesia’s new capital The mention of the two options, however, raised concerns among environmentalists that moving the center of government to Kalimantan might lead to environmental disasters in or around...