TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The 2017 Kalpataru environmental award winner Agus Bei called for the government to pay its utmost attention to East Kalimantan’s forests and natural environments in the process of moving Indonesia’s capital city from Jakarta in the Java Island.
“When the capital is officially located at East Kalimantan, like it or not, forest areas there would shrink,” said Agus at the Hutan Mangrove Center, Graha Indah, Balikpapan on Tuesday, August 27.
Despite his fears, he is certain that the Forestry and Environmental Ministry has studied the region’s natural environment and will avoid practicing wild forest clearing in the capital city construction.
“We still see greeneries here. Don’t make us see concrete jungles,” said Agus, who’s also the mangrove center management member.
Moreover, Agus said that the people of Balikpapan are used to being truly one with its environment and is what defines them culturally.
The relocation of the capital from Jakarta to Penajam Paser Utara and Kutai Kartanegara will socially, culturally, and environmentally affect the city of Balikpapan that sits closely to the aforementioned regions.
SAPRI MAULANA (CONTRIBUTOR)