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NASA highlights Kalimantan forest loss due to IKN project

Tempo - March 1, 2024

Riri Rahayu and Daniel A. Fajri, Jakarta – The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) highlighted a rapid change in Kalimantan's forest areas following the construction project of Indonesia's new capital of Nusantara or IKN on its Earth Observatory page titled "Nusantara: A New Capital City in the Forest".

The report showed pictures of the site of IKN in April 2022 and February 2024. According to the report, the jungle area of East Kalimantan has significantly shrunk since the summer of 2022, compared to February 2024.

"Roads have been carved into the landscape and buildings erected near Balikpapan Bay in Eastern Kalimantan, as Indonesia builds a new capital city," NASA wrote.

The report mentioned that while the new capital was expected to be a green, walkable metropolis powered by renewable energy with 75 percent of the city remaining forested, some researchers expressed concern that the change in land use could harm forests and wildlife in the region.

"The stretch of land and coastal waters being developed are rich in biodiversity and home to mangroves, proboscis monkeys, and Irrawaddy dolphins," it wrote.

"Although the site has changed substantially over the past year and a half, the city is far from being finished. Construction is planned to be completed by 2045."

In 2019, Indonesian President Jokowi announced that the country's capital would be moved from Jakarta to Penajam Pasir Utara in East Kalimantan, and to date, the development of IKN is still ongoing. The groundbreaking of the projects has reached the fifth phase, which was scheduled for February 29 and March 1, 2024.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1839662/nasa-highlights-kalimantan-forest-loss-due-to-ikn-projec