Indonesia new capital will not damage Kalimantan forest

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Indonesia new capital will not damage Kalimantan forest

Minister of National Development Planning and Head of the National Development Planning Agency Bambang Brodjonegoro. (ANTARA/Fathur Rochman, Sri Haryati)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The government has assured that the transfer of the capital city to Kalimantan will not damage its preserved forest, Minister of National Development Planning and Head of the National Development Planning Agency Bambang Brodjonegoro said.

"The area (that will be developed as a new capital city) is vacant land. Thus it will not disturb the forest," Bambang told the press after a discussion on the transfer of the capital city, here Wednesday.

Instead, the government will conduct reforestation he added.

Of the total Rp466 trillion of budget to move the capital city from Jakarta to Kalimantan, a part of it would be allocated to the recovery of the deforested land.

The plan to allocate the budget for reforestation was in line with President Joko Widodo's order conveyed in the cabinet meeting recently, to build a green capital city.

"(President Jokowi) has ordered Mrs. Siti (Minister of Environment and Forestry) that there must be a reforestation program. It can be done using the budget," he said.

Deforestation in Kalimantan was due to mining activities and palm oil plantation, Bambang admitted. Therefore, the government is committed to conducting reforestation alongside the development of the new capital.

The prospective land is vacant thus it would not create a new problem for the locals and cause any agrarian conflict, the government has assured.

"At least, there will be no land dispute and a legal suit that, furthermore, will hamper the development process. We hope that the land could be prepared soon after we determine the location," he added.

President Joko Widodo will soon announce the location of the new capital city, Bambang said earlier.

"Hopefully, in the near future, the president will announce the location (for the new capital city)," he said.

Among the prospective locations are Bukit Soeharto in East Kalimantan, Gunung Mas in Central Kalimantan, and the Golden Triangle of Central Kalimantan.

Currently, the government is conducting reviews to determine the location and a decision will be made by the president.

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Editor: Achmad Zaenal M
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