Nusantara the new capital of Indonesia


  • Indonesia passed a bill replacing its capital Jakarta with East Kalimantan, situated to the east of Borneo island. The new capital city of the country will be called Nusantara.

Key Reasons to shift the capital to Nusantara?

  • Environmental issues in Jakarta. Air pollution is a serious issue in the city
  • The world’s most populous island, have been increasing. Also, the city has been reportedly experiencing financial inequality.
  • Jakarta has also been sinking and it has been said that if nothing was done, many parts of the city would submerge underwater by 2050. Indonesia is prone to floods, and Jakarta is surrounded by multiple rivers.
    • The World Economic Forum had earlier said Jakarta “sits on swampy land” and is one of the fastest-sinking cities on Earth. It is also prone to flooding.
  • Jakarta, which sits on a swampy land on the large island of Java, has become overpopulated and polluted.

Why Nusantara?

  • East Kalimantan is a mineral-rich region famous for its jungles and orangutan population.
  • It harbours a population of 3.7 million people.

    Nusantara the new capital of Indonesia
    Credit: Whereig
  • Indonesia envisions the new capital as a low-carbon “super hub” that will support pharmaceutical, health, and technology sectors and promote sustainable growth beyond Java island.
  • The new capital will be spread over an area of 56,180 hectares in East Kalimantan province.
  • The law states that the capital has a special administrative status that will allow the president to appoint its head, with approval from Parliament.
  • Nusantara is being planned as an environmentally-friendly city. However, critics argue that the development of Nusantara could threaten one of the world’s oldest rainforests.
  • The name of the new capital will be Nusantara — which means “archipelago” in Javanese.
  • It will be based in the regions of North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kartanegara.
  • Nusantara was chosen because it reflected Indonesia’s geography, and was iconic internationally.
  • While Jakarta will remain Indonesia’s commercial and financial centre, government administrative functions will move to East Kalimantan, about 2,000km (1,250 miles) north-east of Jakarta.

Note: Indonesia is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian and Pacific oceans. Jakarta, its current capital, is located on the island of Java.

Which Other Countries Have Changed Their Capitals?

  • Several countries have changed their capitals before Indonesia. These include Brazil, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Myanmar, among others.
  • In 1960, Brazil changed its capital city from Rio De Janeiro to Brasilia. Nigeria replaced Lagos with Abuja as the country’s capital in 1991.
  • Kazakhstan relocated its capital from Almaty to Nur Sultan in 1997. Indonesia will be the third country in Southeast Asia to relocate its capital city.
  • In 2003, next-door neighbour Malaysia had moved its administrative capital from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya. In 2006, Myanmar changed its capital from Yangon to Naypyidaw.


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