Nusantara will be named as Indonesia’s new capital, marking a shift from Jakarta
Indonesia has named its new capital Nusantara, as lawmakers approve the relocation of the capital from Jakarta to Kalimantan, a jungle-covered region on the east coast of Borneo.
In Indonesian, the new name translates to “archipelago.”
Concerns about the sustainability of Jakarta’s congested and rapidly sinking political center prompted the need for a new capital, and the country’s House of Representatives officially passed a bill regarding the relocation on Tuesday.
“The relocation of the capital city to Kalimantan is based on several considerations, regional advantages, and welfare. With the vision of the birth of a new economic center of gravity in the middle of the archipelago.”Suharso Monoarfa, the country’s Minister of National Development Planning, according to Indonesia Parliament TV
President Joko Widodo first announced the relocation of the capital in 2019, citing concerns about Jakarta’s environmental and economic sustainability.
According to the World Economic Forum, Jakarta is one of the fastest-sinking cities on the planet, due to its location on swampy ground near the sea. Due to over-extraction of groundwater, the former capital has been sinking at an alarming rate into the Java Sea.
It is also one of the most densely populated urban areas on the planet. According to the United Nations, it is home to more than 10 million people, with an estimated 30 million in the greater metropolitan area.
According to the chairman of Indonesia’s House of Representatives, Puan Maharani, the bill to relocate the capital was approved by eight fractions on Tuesday, with only one fraction opposing it. The Indonesian Parliament is divided into nine groups of political parties known as fractions.
Legislators have emphasized the importance of carefully considering the environmental impact of the new development. According to National Planning and Development Agency data, the total land area for the new capital city will be around 256,143 hectares (around 2,561 square kilometers), almost all of which will be converted from forest area.
The majority of Borneo, the world’s third-largest island, is owned by Indonesia, with Malaysia and Brunei each owning a portion of its northern region.
Sri Mulyani, Indonesia’s Minister of Finance, stated at a press conference on Tuesday that the new capital city will be developed in five stages.
The first stage is expected to begin in 2022 and last until 2024, with development continuing until 2045, according to Monoarfa.