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Committee Decisions

38 COM 7A.28

Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Indonesia) (N 1167)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-14/38.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7A.14, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Commends the State Party for the development of an Emergency Action Plan, which could facilitate the implementation of the corrective measures;
  4. Expresses its serious concern about the pressure to downgrade the protection status of Kerinci Seblat National Park to a Protected Forest, which would not only expose the property to the risk of road construction and the associated potential impacts of poaching and encroachment, but would also remove the legal prohibition on mining and geothermal energy development in this component of the property;
  5. Notes that the mission confirmed that illegal traditional gold mining is ongoing within the property, and reiterates its position that mining is incompatible with World Heritage status;
  6. Requests the State Party to ensure that any development of geothermal energy within the property remains prohibited by law, and urges the State Party to provide information to the World Heritage Centre of any plans to develop geothermal energy in areas adjacent to the property, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines , and subject any such plans to rigorous Environmental Impact Assessment, in conformity with IUCN’s World Heritage advice note on Environmental Assessment;
  7. Considers that the indicators that describe the Desired state of conservation, as established by the 2013 IUCN reactive monitoring mission in co-operation with the State Party and UNESCO, must be reached within a timeframe of 5 to 10 years, in order to enable the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger;
  8. Also requests the State Party to implement the following corrective measures as developed during the 2013 mission to restore the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property:
    1. Significantly enhance law enforcement capacity by developing and implementing a strategic plan for the control of illegal activities, as a collaborative effort involving National Park authorities, the Natural Resources Conservation Agency, NGOs, local police forces, local government and the prosecutor’s office. The strategic plan should include measures to:
      1. provide law enforcement agencies with adequate resources to expand their activities,
      2. ensure that reports of illegal activities are quickly and efficiently responded to, and that transgressors are tried on the basis of conservation law (in addition to criminal law),
      3. identify and prosecute syndicates, networks and businesses involved in illegal activities, in cooperation with the relevant authorities for the eradication of forest crime and corruption,
    2. Strengthen property-wide monitoring of key species, including Sumatran Elephant, Tiger, Rhino and Orangutan, by:
      1. enhancing collaboration among government, NGOs and universities,
      2. agreeing on a common methodological framework for monitoring each species,
      3. expanding monitoring efforts to address geographical gaps in monitoring activities,
      4. synchronizing data analyses for all key species to facilitate progress reporting,
    3. Strengthen species recovery efforts by implementing habitat improvement and ecosystem restoration programmes, as required, including the control of invasive species,
    4. Maintain the policy that prohibits the construction of new roads in National Parks, and conduct a Strategic Environmental Assessment of the road network in the entire Bukit Barisan Mountain Range, in order to identify transport options and technologies for the region that do not adversely impact on the property’s OUV,
    5. Ensure that rigorous Environmental Impact Assessments are carried out for all proposed developments within the property (e.g. road improvement projects) and in its vicinity (e.g. mining projects), to ensure that these do not have a negative impact on the OUV of the property,
    6. Close and rehabilitate all mines within the property, investigate the existence of any mining concessions and exploration permits that overlap with the property, and revoke any overlapping concessions and/or permits that are identified,
    7. In consultation with relevant stakeholders, including local communities, clarify in law the boundaries of each component National Park of the property, and complete the demarcation of these boundaries on the ground,
    8. Ensure that all provinces, districts and sub-districts that overlap with the property recognize its World Heritage status and avoid the designation of development zones within its boundaries,
    9. Ensure that the World Heritage Working Group under the Coordinating Ministry of People Welfare is taking an active role in promoting strong coordination between different ministries in the protection and management of the property,
    10. Ensure that the National Strategic Areas process establishes buffer zones around each National Park in the property and identifies and protects critical wildlife habitats outside the property;
  9. Also urges the State Party to rigorously ensure that the Aceh Spatial Plan explicitly recognizes the boundaries of the property, that no land is allocated therein for development purposes either within or immediately adjacent to the property, and that it makes adequate provisions for the identification and conservation of critical wildlife habitats that lie outside the property;
  10. Notes with concern the reported decision by the State Party of Australia to rescind its commitment of 3 million Australian dollars for the conservation of Sumatran Rhinoceros, also considers that this is likely to significantly compromise the likelihood of achieving the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger within the above-mentioned timeframe, encourages the State Party of Australia to continue its previously committed financial support to Sumatran Rhino conservation, and calls upon the international community to assist the State Party of Indonesia to reach the Desired state of conservation for the property;
  11. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015, a detailed report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the implementation of the corrective measures and the other points noted above, as well as on progress achieved towards reaching the indicators of the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015;
  12. Decides to retain the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Indonesia) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Documents
PDF Original Decision Document
Context of Decision
PDF WHC-14/38.COM/7A
Themes: List of World Heritage in Danger
States Parties: Indonesia
Session: 38COM