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Greenpeace slams IKN's smart forest city concept: 'It's a cosplay'

Tempo - March 5, 2024

Annisa Febiola and Daniel A. Fajri, Jakarta – Campaign spokesperson of Greenpeace Indonesia Rio Rompas claimed that the smart forest city concept hailed by the Nusantara Capital City or IKN is "a mere cosplay". The development, Rio said, faced bigger environmental threats than advertised.

"So, the government's claims that 70 percent of IKN is a green area with a smart forest city concept is a mere cosplay, since the threats are in fact, bigger," he told Tempo, quoted on Monday.

President Joko Widodo or Jokowi previously stated that IKN is a smart forest city with 70 percent proportions of nature. IKN is also integrated with green energy in various sectors, such as transportation, infrastructure, technology, energy, finance, tourism, health, and housing.

According to Rio, the smart forest city promoted by Jokowi is akin to artificial forests, while the natural forests are destroyed, including those "adjacent to IKN".

Smart forest city, he said, will reduce the carbon and biodiversity-rich forests. "The deforestation in the IKN area from 2011 to 2020 amounted to 9,725 hectares of forests excluding the industrial forest plantation. The mangrove areas surrounding them are potentially at risk due to the development in IKN," he said.

The problem is that the natural forests surrounding IKN are not monocultures, but are considered rainforests. "So the natural forests are endangered, while the smart forest city concept has little impact on actually stopping deforestation in Indonesia," Rio explained.

The deforestation risks will not be contained to the core area of IKN, but also expand to the wider area in East Kalimantan and the island itself, according to Greenpeace.

However, Rio said, the most important aspect affected by the development of IKN is the indigenous population. Ever since its conception, IKN has birthed many disputes with indigenous people that ultimately sacrificed their interests, including "being criminalized, and having their land grabbed by the government".

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1841143/greenpeace-slams-ikns-smart-forest-city-concept-its-a-cospla