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Why is Indonesia moving its capital from Jakarta to Borneo?

Indonesia Capital

Indonesia is all set to move its capital from Jakarta to Borneo over environmental issues such as being congested, sinking into seawater, and being prone to earthquakes. Officials said the new metropolis city will be a “sustainable forest city,” that puts the environment at the heart of the development and will be carbon neutral by 2045.

Indonesia New Capital

Indonesian President Joko Widodo envisions the construction of the new capital as a “nostrum for the problems in Jakarta, which will also allow the country to start afresh.”

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Indonesia New Capital: Reason that Indonesia moving its capital

  • Jakarta, home to 10 million people has been described as the world’s most rapidly sinking city which is estimated to be completely submerged by 2050.
  • Officials claimed that the main reason behind moving the capital is uncontrolled groundwater extraction which has been exacerbated by the rising Java Sea due to climate change.
  • Although it’s just not water issues only, the air is also heavily polluted, and it floods regularly due to clogged roads, and the estimated congestion cost is around $4.5 billion a year.
  • This prompted the president to plan for a new capital, which he wants to establish as the city of ‘Nusantara,‘ that will allow the construction of government buildings and housing from scratch.

What Will The Indonesia New Capital Be Like:

  • Widodo’s plan to establish the city of Nusantara — an old Javanese term meaning “archipelago” — will entail constructing government buildings and housing from scratch. Initial estimates were that over 1.5 million civil servants would be relocated to the city, some 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) northeast of Jakarta, though ministries and government agencies are still working to finalize that number.
  • Bambang Susantono, head of the Nusantara National Capital Authority said that the new capital city will apply the “forest city” concept, with 65% of the area being reforested.
  • The city is expected to be inaugurated on Aug. 17 next year to coincide with Indonesia’s Independence Day. New capital authorities said that the final stages of the city, however, likely won’t be completed until 2045, marking the nation’s hundredth anniversary.

 What are the concerns raised on Indonesia Capital

  • Environmentalists, however, are not happy with the decision and have been raising their concerns as this plan will cause massive deforestation and will pose threat to the habitat of endangered species like orangutans.
  • An Indonesian non-governmental organisation, Forest Watch Indonesia had in its 2022 report warned that most of the forested areas in the new capital are production forests, which means that they could be permitted for forestry and extractive activities which would cause deforestation.
  • According to AP, at least five villages with over 100 Balik people are relocating because of the construction.

Indonesia New Capital- Borneo Island


It is the third-largest island in the world and the largest in Asia. It is home to some of the world’s greatest tropical rainforests. It is politically divided among three countries: Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. Kalimantan is Indonesian portion of the island of Borneo and it comprises 73% of island’s geographic area.

Indonesia: Fast Facts


Capital Jakarta
Government Type presidential republic
Currency Rupiah (IDR)
Total Area 735,354 Square Miles
1,904,569 Square Kilometers
Location Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean
Language Bahasa Indonesia (official, modified form of Malay), English, Dutch, local dialects
President Joko Widodo

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