Jakarta (ANTARA) - Environmental Affairs and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya confirmed no difficulties in preparing location for new capital city in North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kartanegara, East Kalimantan, as forest area allotment is changeable with government policy.

"Hence, there is no difficulty," Nurbaya elucidated while responding to questions posed by the press on the location of the new capital city here on Tuesday.

The government has yet to decide on the specific delineation for the next capital. President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) only revealed that it will be located partially in North Penajam Paser and partly in Kutai Kartanegara.

"As we know, in addition to the Bukit Suharto Forest Park, there are also conservation and production forests in the districts, and several of them have obtained permits," she noted.

The allotment of forest areas can be changed in line with the government’s policy based on Government Regulation No. 104 of 2015 on Procedures for Changing the Purposes and Functions of Forest Areas, she explained.

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The president informed the press on Monday that the two districts were selected, as they have the least risks of disasters, including floods, earthquake, tsunamis, forest fires, and landslides.

Moreover, they are strategically located in the heart of Indonesia and near Balikpapan and Samarinda that are developed cities.

Hence, basic infrastructure and facilities are already existing, and the government has owned 180 thousand hectares of land area there.

The decision to move the capital city was based on a three-year study conducted by the government.

"The results of the studies have concluded that the ideal location for a new capital city will be part of North Penajam Paser District and part of Kutai Kartanegara District in East Kalimantan," President Jokowi had noted.

"Java Island continues to face increasing burden owing to the population reaching 150 million, or 54 percent of Indonesia's total populace, contributing 58 percent of Indonesia's economic GDP on Java Island," he pointed out.

He pointed to Jakarta, as an administration and business center, also being overburdened.
Hosting both government and business centers, Jakarta is currently facing major problems of overpopulation, severe congestion, air pollution, and water pollution.

The central government has studied numerous locations in Java and concluded that the burden on Java will only increase if the new capital were to remain on Java, Indonesia's fifth-largest island after Papua, Kalimantan, Sumatra, and Sulawesi.

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Translator: Virna P Setyorini, Fardah
Editor: Sri Haryati
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