President Joko Widodo has asked parliament to sign off on a plan to move the nation’s capital to Borneo island. Jakarta is one of the world’s fastest sinking cities; a third of its land could be submerged by 2050.
Widodo on Friday formally proposed to parliament a plan to move the country’s capital from Jakarta, on the crowded island of Java, to Kalimantan on the island of Borneo.
Widodo made the proposal during his state of the union speech at parliament, a day before the country celebrates its 74th independence anniversary.
Jakarta is sinking by up to 25 centimetres a year and has a population of 10 million.
Jakarta is now one of the world’s fastest sinking cities, after years of unchecked development and rising sea-levels.
Depleted groundwater reserves and the construction of new skyscrapers have caused land subsidence and compression, prompting environmental experts to warn that a third of the city could be submerged by 2050.
Jakarta also lies in an earthquake zone, on swamplands, and near the confluence of 13 rivers. Some parts of the city now sit some four meters below sea level, leaving millions vulnerable to natural disasters as a result of climate change.