Climate change forces Indonesia to relocate capital

Climate change forces Indonesia to relocate capital

Climate change forces Indonesia to relocate capital- Today Current Affairs

The Indonesian parliament has passed a law  approving the shifting of its capital from Jakarta which is slowly sinking  to a site 2,000 kilometers away on Borneo island that will be named -Nusantara. This move was first tipped by President Joko Widodo in April 2019, citing rising sea levels and severe congestion on densely populated Java island.  The largest islands in Indonesia are Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo), Sulawesi, and the Indonesian part of New Guinea known as Papua New Guinea. The Hindu Analysis.

Jakarta which lies on the northwest coast of Java ,home to more than 30 million people has long been plagued by infrastructure problems and flooding aggravated by climate change. Experts have predicted up to a third of the city could be underwater by as soon as 2050.Jakarta has been Indonesia’s capital since 1949 when the country gained independence. The city has become overcrowded and extremely polluted for the last few decades.Furthermore, Jakarta is the centre for  governance, finance and trade and it has inevitably led to relentless construction in the city, due to which the water is not able to seep into the ground , leading to increased run-off in the city. Another reason to shift the capital from Java island to Borneo island has been the growing inequality in terms of finance and population density. Java Island (especially Jakarta region) which is spread across around 661.5 square km is immensely populated whereas East Kalimantan, spread across 127,346.92 square kilometers is a lot less populated than Java. The new capital, Nusantara will cover about 56,180 hectares in Kalimantan province on the Indonesian part of Borneo.

Indonesia is not the first country in the Southeast asian region to shift its capital. Malaysia moved its administration to Putrajaya from Kuala Lumpur in 2003. Myanmar also relocated its capital to Naypyidaw from Rangoon in 2006.

Though environmentalists have warned it could damage the present ecosystem in the region, where mining and palm oil plantations already threaten rainforests which are home to Borneo’s endangered species. The Hindu Analysis.

Sea level rise is an increase in the level of water in the world’s oceans due to the effects of climate change, especially global warming. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2021 report, the sea-level rise has been 3 times as compared with 1901-1971. The Arctic Sea ice is the lowest in the last 1,000 years. Eight of the world’s 10 largest cities globally are near a coast, which is threatened by coastal flooding due to increasing sea level. Many coastal cities of the world have planned to adopt relocation as a mitigation strategy.  Kiribati Island is planning to shift to Fiji. Indonesia had also launched a coastal development project called a Giant Sea Wall or Giant Garuda in 2014 meant to protect the city from floods. India is also vulnerable as we have 7,516-kilometer-long coastline including a 5,422 kilometers of coastline on the mainland and another 2,094 kilometers on the islands . So Sea level rise due to climate change is a global issue that needs to be tackled in a sustainable manner with all counties cooperating with each other. 


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