The area where the new unnamed capital will be

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East Kalimantan is dwelling to orang-utans and plush rainforests

After years of hypothesis and debate, Indonesia introduced final week that will probably be shifting its capital from Jakarta to East Kalimantan, almost 1,300km (800 miles) away.

Jakarta has turn out to be crowded and polluted and is sinking at an alarming fee. East Kalimantan, on Indonesia’s a part of Borneo island, could not be extra of a distinction – it is recognized for its lush rainforest and is dwelling to orang-utans and different uncommon wildlife.

The transfer will value an estimated 466 trillion rupiah ($32.79bn; £26.73bn) and will probably be one of many greatest infrastructure tasks the federal government has ever undertaken.

So what is going to it take to uproot a capital – and at what value?

Why is that this occurring?

Researchers say that enormous components of Jakarta, dwelling to greater than 10 million individuals, may very well be solely submerged by 2050.

North Jakarta has sunk by 2.5m (8ft) over the previous 10 years and is continuous to sink a mean of 1-15cm a 12 months. Nearly half town is already beneath sea degree.

One of many foremost causes is the extraction of groundwater to fulfill the rising metropolis’s wants. The town can also be constructed on marshy lands and the encircling seas are rising.

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Media captionWhy Indonesia’s capital Jakarta is sinking

The town’s site visitors jams are additionally infamous – authorities ministers need to be escorted by police convoys to get to conferences on time.

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Visitors jams in Jakarta are virtually notorious

The planning minister has mentioned snarl-ups prices the financial system 100 trillion rupiah ($6.8bn, £5.4bn) a 12 months.

Jakarta can also be one of the air-polluted on this planet and is overcrowded and costly – many individuals dwell in casual housing settlements.

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The place will the brand new capital be?

It is going to be constructed throughout two regencies known as Kutai Kartanegara and Penajam Paser Utara within the area of East Kalimantan. Work is slated to start in 2024.

Plans present it’ll cowl round 180,000 hectares – that is 3 times the scale of Jakarta.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has mentioned the world was chosen for a number of causes. For one, it isn’t as uncovered to the pure disasters – floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis – which plague different components of Indonesia.

It is also close to city areas which are already comparatively developed – the cities of Balikpapan and Samarinda.

“[There is already] some infrastructure and current cities [nearby],” Johannes Widodo, an affiliate professor within the Nationwide College of Singapore’s College of Design and Surroundings instructed the BBC.

The precise web site of the brand new capital, nonetheless, is comparatively undeveloped. It is largely palm oil plantations and forests which have been cleared by logging, mentioned WWF Indonesia director for Kalimantan Irwan Gunawan.

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That is the world the place the brand new capital will probably be constructed

These areas have been as soon as dwelling to wealthy vegetation however have already been “destroyed” within the years previous – and Mr Gunawan instructed the BBC he was fearful that this destruction will solely develop as soon as the brand new capital is developed.

Jakarta will nonetheless stay the centre of enterprise and commerce – it is simply the nation’s administrative headquarters that will probably be shifting.

However Mr Gunawan mentioned that “as a growing nation, all the choices are made within the central authorities space.

That is “going to draw large migration and if individuals are shifting in it is unavoidable they would wish homes, and also you want timber for building… so it is attainable that logging would worsen”.

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It’s only a matter of time earlier than developments transfer in

A few of this migration is already occurring. Agung Podomoro Land, a property developer, introduced that it could be constructing luxurious flats, resorts, procuring malls and different amenities in East Kalimantan.

In close by North Kalimantan province, an enormous venture to construct a hydropower plant mentioned to be price $17.8bn can also be within the works. It is clear the federal government is doing its bit to develop Kalimantan as a complete.

What impact will this have on the setting?

East Kalimantan remains to be dwelling to a various vary of wildlife and plush rainforests. It is particularly recognized for being dwelling to orang-utans.

The Indonesian authorities says no less than 50% of the capital will encompass inexperienced areas. The Minister of Nationwide Growth Planning Bambang Brodjonegoro has known as the idea a “forest metropolis”.

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The developments might threaten the houses of orang-utans

However Mr Gunawan is not satisfied.

“It is not sufficient by saying that this new capital could be maintained as a forest metropolis – it isn’t solely that precise space however the surrounding areas that should be thought of,” he mentioned.

“Orang-utans have already suffered vital decline over the previous 20 years because of the growth of palm oil plantations and logging. Their habitats are far-off from the brand new capital however because it grows, new settlements will develop… and can ultimately scale back the habitats of the orang-utans. It is only a matter of time.”

One other campaigner from environmental group The Indonesian Discussion board for the Surroundings (WALHI) agrees.

“Deforestation will occur. Extra mining for building materials [will take place],” Sawung, an City and Vitality campaigner at WALHI, instructed the BBC.

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Sawung – who makes use of one title – provides that if the federal government doesn’t do its half to sort out the issues that plagued Jakarta, “it is solely [moving] Jakarta’s issues – of water, air air pollution, transport and housing – to Kalimantan”.

What in regards to the people who find themselves already there?

In the mean time, virtually the entire wealth from the pure assets on this space circulate to Java – the island on which Jakarta sits. Indonesians outdoors of Java have lengthy complained about being uncared for by the central authorities.

One resident of East Kalimantan instructed BBC Information Indonesian that it could be “good to be near the central authorities”. One other mentioned they hoped it could translate to higher assets within the space.

However Mr Sawung say many locals nonetheless stay “sceptical” in regards to the transfer, saying they believed solely “authorities officers and businessman” would profit.

And there is one other massive group of people that haven’t been consulted – Kalimantan’s indigenous teams, recognized collectively because the Dayaks.

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The Dayaks are the indigenous individuals of Borneo island

“The Dayak are forest-dependent individuals… their methods assist us preserve the forest ecosystem. Their rights must be protected. We do not need them to turn out to be just like the [indigenous people] of Jakarta who’ve been sidelined,” mentioned Mr Gunawan.

Advocacy group Minority Rights Group Worldwide (MRGI) says the transfer would “destroy” the Dayak’s setting.

“The Dayaks have been persistent victims of environmental degradation,” Joshua Castellino of the MRGI instructed information company Reuters.

“The abandonment of Jakarta as a result of air pollution and overcrowding is hardly an endorsement for a transfer into another person’s yard the place the identical will doubtless happen.”

Reporting by the BBC’s Yvette Tan and extra reporting by Callistasia Wijaya