According to several human rights groups, indigenous people may be uprooted from their ancestral land in Borneo island to make way for Indonesia’s new capital.
Last week, President Joko Widodo confirmed that the new capital would be moved to the province of East Kalimantan in Borneo, as Jakarta is currently experiencing massive congestion and is also sinking. Meanwhile, Borneo offers a healthier environment with its forests and wildlife.
According to advocacy group Minority Rights Group International (MRGI), indigenous people of Kalimantan, the Dayaks, have struggled to protect their traditional land and forests from logging, mining, and palm oil plantations.
“The Dayaks have been persistent victims of environmental degradation, and this move would physically destroy more of their environment,” said Joshua Castellino, MRGI’s Executive Director.
“The abandonment of Jakarta due to pollution and overcrowding is hardly an endorsement for a move into someone else’s backyard where the same will likely occur. There must be a wide consultation to understand the impact,” he added.
While President Joko Widodo is currently conducting a feasibility study, the indigenous people of Kalimantan have not been consulted. They might lose their lands and livelihood, as the people have lived there for generations.
Source: Channel News Asia