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  • 1440 Daily Digest

Indonesia's Sinking City

Indonesia has begun construction of its new capital city of Nusantara, replacing Jakarta, in East Borneo—a jungle rich in natural resources and known for its orangutan population. Environmentalists and Indigenous groups have criticized the nearly $33B project, saying the project has many economic and ecological ramifications while exposing residents to endemic diseases like malaria.

Officials say the new capital plans include a futuristic green city that uses renewable energy resources, "smart" waste management, and environmentally friendly buildings and aims to be carbon-neutral by 2045. However, critics say the project may lead to substantial rainforest deforestation, threaten endangered species' habitats, put Indigenous peoples' homes at risk, and more.

The project was sparked by Jakarta's overpopulation, infrastructure problems, and chronic flooding. Home to 10 million people, Jakarta is quickly sinking into the Java Sea, and parts of the city could be entirely submerged by 2050. See history here.

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