Property: Lorentz National Park
Id. N°: 955
State Party: Indonesia
Criteria: N (i) (ii) (iv)
The Committee recalled that the Bureau at its twenty-third session requested the Centre to inform the Indonesian authorities of a number of aspects suggested by IUCN dealing with the management of the site, and in particular: (a) the priority need to continue the process of management planning for the Park with full involvement of the local stakeholders; (b) encouragement for the proposed establishment of a Foundation which would assist in the management of the Park; (c) possible twinning arrangement with the Wet Tropics World Heritage site in Australia; (d) appointment of a Park Director and support staff; (e) the concern over development projects that would affect the Park, for example the proposed Timika/Mapurajaya road and any expansion of mining activity towards the Park boundary so as not to conflict with Lorentz National Park's nomination as a World Heritage site. A letter from the Indonesian authorities was received noting their agreement with all of the above.
Several delegates and observers noted the issues of the mining concessions surrounding the site, the proposed 6% reduction of the site and the adjacent oil concessions as well as other potential impacts to the sites, such as road construction and visual impacts.
The Chairperson, in thanking the Committee for the extensive debate and consideration of the matter, suggested that the following points be transmitted to the State Party:
(a) The Committee noted that as per the request of 25 October 1999 from the Indonesian authorities, an adjustment of approximately 150,000 hectares were made to exclude oil exploration concessions in the south-east corner of the Park. The Committee accepted this reduction in the size of the property and agreed with the new boundaries as submitted in Map C (see Annex V). The modified size of the site is now about 2.35 million hectares.
(b) The Committee recognized the potential risks and threats as indicated in the IUCN evaluation and requested the State Party to consider these in actions concerning the site.
(c) The Committee encouraged further action on the proposed Trust Fund that would assist in strengthening conservation in Lorentz National Park.
(d) The Committee requested that a monitoring mission be undertaken to gauge progress three years after inscription.
The Delegate of Australia noted that his country still has not been officially informed about the suggestion of twinning arrangements between the Wet Tropics of Queensland and Lorentz National Park, but will be willing to co-operate if invited by the State Party.
The Committee decided to inscribe the site under natural criteria (i), (ii) and (iv).
The site is the largest protected area in Southeast Asia (2.35 mil. ha.) and the only protected area in the world which incorporates a continuous, intact transect from snow cap to tropical marine environment, including extensive lowland wetlands. Located at the meeting point of two colliding continental plates, the area has a complex geology with on-going mountain formation as well as major sculpting by glaciation and shoreline accretion which has formed much of the lowland areas. These processes have led to a high level of endemism and the area supports the highest level of biodiversity in the region. The area also contains fossil sites that record the evolution of life on New Guinea.