One of the best things about working at Kehati is being able to visit different sites and attend environmental events. In the past few weeks, I’ve attended the launching of the 5th edition of Jakarta Green Map (Peta Hijau), a Green Festival in a Betawi (native Jakartan) neighborhood, an event on the endangered Java Gibbon, and the grand opening of a new eco-theme park.

Recently, my coworkers took me to see two of Jakarta few wild areas, not far the airport. In a city with little green space, and almost no public parks, you would expect places like this to be crucial escapes for people here. Like Central Park in NY, overcrowded by people seeking some semblance of nature to balance out urban city life.

Spot #1 – Jakarta’s only protected seashore. Tucked away near one of Jakarta fanciest neighborhoods, full of mostly Chinese-Indonesians. It was eerily like the national museum I visited last month, except worse. The gate was locked, and we had to wait to enter. But once I got in, it was…lovely.

See the homes in the distant? The slums. In Jakarta, they are, well, where no one can see them. Next to nature.

But, a little further down, I saw signs of other visitors.

Come on, Jakartans. Seriously.

The second stop was a Kehati site, the ONLY mangrove site in flood-prone Jakarta. Well maintained, it was lovely.

Again, no one here except a couple getting wedding photos. Apparently, that’s the only time that Jakartans go into nature, for wedding photos. Sadly,being on the path to the airport, this land is due to be destroyed for a monorail line. Jakarta, which desperately needs mangroves to stop the cataclismic floods that seem to hit every few years, worse each time, is destroying one of its few lifelines.

Such is development, no?

More photos of Green Jakarta below!

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