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Jakarta Post

'What about Kalimantan's mighty forests?' Capital city plan raises questions about environment

  • Kharishar Kahfi and N. Adri

    The Jakarta Post

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Balikpapan, East Kalimantan   /   Tue, October 15, 2019   /  09:08 am
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Lush green characterizes the Bukit Soeharto forest park in Bukit Soeharto in East Kalimantan in this photo taken on May 17.(JP/N. Adri)

Indonesia’s Kalimantan region, just like the whole of Borneo Island, is strongly associated with mighty tropical rainforests and often dubbed one of the remaining lungs of the world. It is home to indigenous groups as well as unique flora and fauna. Amid aggressive deforestation on the island in the past years, one cannot help but wonder what will happen to the forests once the government kicks off its plan to build a new capital city to take some of the burden off Jakarta. The grandiose plan to build a capital city that is smart and green has raised concern among residents of the area, who fear the land would be worked on without their consent. “If the government wants to use these forests, they should not only talk with local authorities. They must meet us first, because here we often see plots of land opened without us knowing who granted the permission, said Masr...