This half formed artificial island is situated in Jakarta Bay, 1100m north of Baywalk Mall and the Green Bay Sands apartment complex in Pluit. The island is approximately 650 x 1060 metres in size, but this is always changing as the sand of which the island is made is gradually dispersing, shrinking, leaving lagoons and a large shallow sandy perimeter as the island erodes into the sea.
The land is all very low, flat and littered with bottles and plastic packaging washed ashore. It is built from sand taken from beaches in the neighbouring region of Banten, west of Jakarta. Mangroves and other scrub have begun to grow patchily over the island. There are two bamboo jetties on the island, and one shack, housing a security guard. The security guard does not wear the neat uniform standard of Jakartan security guards but instead can be seen relaxing in t shirt, shorts and thongs. He could easily be mistaken for a local fisherman. Nonetheless, there is a shrill alarm that goes off when unwanted visitors go too close, immediately spurring the security guard to action. The land remains officially closed to the public, however restrictions seem to have relaxed somewhat over the past few years, and local fishermen are now permitted to moor their boats in the shallow waters surrounding the island for short periods of time, but not when they are carrying foreigners with big cameras. A fishing boat now rests submerged on the north-western tip of the island after running aground on concrete tetrapod structures placed in the shallows to prevent further dissolution. Recent news on the island comments on the inconveniences it continues to pose for traditional fishermen operating out of the nearby harbour of Muara Angke.
Many birds flock to the island, in much higher concentrations than we have seen anywhere else along Jakarta’s coastline. The island seems to act as a buffer for pollution, or at least for plastic rubbish, and we see a manta ray in the sandy shallows just north of the island, a surprising find given the proximity to heavy industry and waste flowing from the nearby estuary.
Directly in front of Baywalk Mall, Pluit, West Jakarta, Indonesia., Jakarta, Indonesia
281, 466 sqm (28.15 hectares)
Agung Podomoro Land, but currently managed by the state government.
The 2017-elected governor Anies Baswedan’s coastal transition team, tasked with creating a strategy for the already built reclaimed islands, say that the land will be ‘consolidated’, with sand on the edge heaped up into the middle to stop the island from disintegrating. Considered future uses for the island include a scientific post for field research relating to water quality, pollution etc. There is recent evidence, however, that the Agung Podomoro Group is continuing to lay the legal framework for the resumption of the Pluit City development originally intended for Pulau G in the hope that Anies Baswedan will lose the 2022 Jakarta gubernatorial elections and official policy change in favour of land reclamation in Jakarta Bay once more.
Construction of the island began in 2014. It was intended to be 161 hectares in size, and the land was to be utilised for a small satellite ‘new town’ development with elite real estate, office towers, malls and a pedestrian square; what the developers term an ‘archipelago city district in historic Jakarta Bay’. However the legal basis for reclamation was thin and very dependent on having the support of the Jakarta governor. Following a graft case in 2016, permission for the construction of Island G was retracted and it has remained half built and slowly disintegrating ever since.
The area can be reached by fishing boat and is not fenced off, but there is a security guard and alarm hindering extensive exploration of the location. Officially, public access is prohibited, however local fishermen are often permitted to moor their boats there temporarily. Outsiders, media etc., are not welcome.
The site is bordered by water on all sides and must be accessed by boat.
Land is occupied by:birds and other coastal wildlifeone security guard
The island is strikingly free of human activity. At the time of writing, construction has been stopped for 3 years, and no other intensive human activity has taken place on the site. The island in its current state functions as an undeclared wildlife sanctuary, supporting birds, mangroves, and various aquatic animals.