Indonesia replaces sinking Jakarta with new capital city Nusantara: Details here
The Indonesian Parliament has passed a law to relocate the country’s capital from Jakarta to Nusantara. This is the most significant advancement of an idea the country's leaders have been toying with for years.
The new state capital law, which provides a legal framework for President Joko Widodo's ambitious $32 billion mega project, also stipulates how development of the capital will be funded and governed.
"The new capital has a central function and is a symbol of the identity of the nation, as well as a new centre of economic gravity," Planning Minister Suharso Monoarfa told parliament after the bill was passed into law.
Why is Indonesia moving the capital from Jakarta?
The plan was formulated as Jakarta is prone to flooding amid climate change. The sinking megacity also suffers from chronic congestion and air pollution.
Monoarfa said that the relocation of the capital city to Nusantara is based on several considerations, regional advantages, and welfare and with a vision of the birth of a new economic centre of gravity in the middle of the archipelago.
President Joko Widodo first announced the capital would be relocated in 2019, but the move was delayed due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
How fast is Jakarta sinking?
Jakarta sits on the swampy ground near the sea - making it especially prone to flooding - and is one of the fastest-sinking cities on Earth, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). It has been dropping into the Java Sea at an alarming rate due to the over-extraction of groundwater.
Jakarta is also one of the world's most overpopulated urban regions. It is home to more than 10 million people, with an estimated 30 million in the greater metropolitan area, according to the United Nations.
The name of the new city has been chosen by Widodo. It is a Javanese term which translates to "archipelago" in the Indonesian language. It is located within the jungle of Kalimantan on Borneo island.
According to data from the National Planning and Development Agency, the total land area for the new capital city will be around 256,143 hectares (around 2,561 square kilometres) - almost all of it converted from the forest area.
Indonesia owns the majority of Borneo, the world's third-largest island, with Malaysia and Brunei each holding parts of its northern region.
The initial relocation will start from between 2022 and 2024.
Nusantara would follow in the footsteps of new capitals in other countries, notably Brazil and Myanmar.
It will strengthen supply chains and place Indonesia "in a more strategic position in world trade routes, investment flows, and technological innovation," the government said in a statement.
The new capital has been dubbed by the government as a low-carbon "super hub" that will support pharmaceutical, health and technology sectors and promote sustainable growth beyond Java Island.
Nusantara will be led by a chief authority whose position is equivalent to a minister.
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