An artificial jungle was created for the ASEAN summit in the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta. There are no natural ones in the city, and the country has been struggling with deforestation for almost 30 years.
Participants in the summit, which begins today, September 5, will see a jungle in the lobby of the convention center with a two-tiered waterfall, wild orchids and an orangutan, the Associated Press reports. Among the guests are Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, US Vice President Kamala Harris and Chinese Premier Li Qiang.
At the same time, in Jakarta itself, whose air was recently recognized as the dirtiest in the world, there are no real jungles. The nearest forests where endangered orangutans live are 1,300 kilometers from the capital.
The “Potemkin Jungle” was created, according to authorities, to show “the best hospitality” and also to recall ASEAN’s call for environmental protection and a transition to renewable energy sources.
Since 2001, Indonesia has lost about 11%, or 10.2 million hectares, of primary rain forest. They were mainly cut down for palm plantations: Indonesia is the largest producer of palm oil in the world. Measures to reduce deforestation began to be taken by the authorities in the mid-1990s. Deforestation has indeed declined, but still covers large areas.