The Indonesian Parliament passed a law Tuesday that will allow the capital city of Jakarta to be moved to East Kalimantan, a province on the island of Borneo.
The new capital will be named Nusantara, a Javanese word that means “archipelago.” Joko Widodo, the president of Indonesia, chose the name because it represents the geography of Indonesia and is an ancient word often used to describe the country.
The bill proposing the move was approved by eight out of nine political factions that make up the country’s parliament.
Widodo first announced the plan to move the capital from the crowded, pollution- and traffic-plagued city of Jakarta in 2019. The over-extraction of groundwater and the city’s location on swampy ground is causing Jakarta to sink rapidly.
East Kalimantan which will be the site for the new capital, has a population of 3.7 million people. The jungles of the area are home to orangutans and mineral deposits.
Some have criticized the move to Kalimantan because of environmental concerns, such as logging, that could endanger the jungle habitat. Groups speaking on behalf of Borneo’s indigenous population are also concerned about potential environmental and cultural impacts.
Jakarta will continue to be the capital until Widodo releases a presidential decree ratifying the move to Nusantara.