The new capital of Indonesia: 1,200 kilometers from Jakarta.
In the forests of Kalimantan, Indonesia is working on a new capital. This should relieve the overcrowded, silted up and heavily polluted Jakarta. Anyone who still doubts whether Indonesia will really move its capital 1,200 kilometers to the middle of nowhere in East Kalimantan should rent an all-terrain vehicle in the port city of Balikpapan. Drive north for two hours on the new toll road past palm oil plantations; left through a nature reserve with steamy jungle and the occasional long-tailed macaque on the roadside; to the sleepy village of Sepaku where – to the surprise of the residents – it turns out to be the center of a planned metropolis.
All hills are covered with eucalyptus trees.
Ratna Ajeng (43) refills clean water at her shop in the Sepaku area, Penajam Paser Utara, East Kalimantan, Indonesia.
Conservationists Mappaselle, en route in Balikpapan Bay.
Construction in the forest to a ballet of tower cranes atop a hill where the new presidential palace is planned.