Year of inscription on the World Heritage List 1999
Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger N/A
Previous Committee Decisions see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/955/documents/
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 41,400
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/955/assistance/
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
2004: IUCN mission; 2008: UNESCO/IUCN Joint Reactive Monitoring Mission; 2011: UNESCO/IUCN Joint Reactive Monitoring Mission
Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports
Illustrative material see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/955/
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2013
The State Party did not submit a report on the state of conservation of the property as requested by Decision 35 COM 7B.15 adopted at the 35th session of the World Heritage Committee (UNESCO, 2011).
In the absence of a report from the State Party and a scarcity of information from other sources about the conservation status of the property, it is unclear if any activities have been undertaken to implement the decision of the World Heritage Committee and the recommendations of the 2008 and 2011 reactive monitoring missions.
a) Infrastructure development
The World Heritage Centre and IUCN recall that the Committee at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011) had expressed its grave concern that road construction within the property had not ceased as repeatedly requested by the Committee. They also recall that road development in the property is driven by a provincial plan to provide an integrated transport programme for the development of new local government areas in Papua. They further recall that following an interdepartmental meeting on 1 April 2011, the Directorate of Highways of the Ministry of Public Works had instructed its regional office in Papua to cease road development in the Lake Habema region until the Ministry of Forestry issued a permit.
The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note with concern recent media reports dated 16 April 2013, indicating that the Trans-Papua Highway plan is to be revived. They note that within that plan, the proposed Jayapura – Wamena – Mulia road is most likely to negatively impact on the property, especially if it would adopt the route via the globally unique and fragile equatorial alpine and sub-alpine ecosystems of the property, which have already been damaged by road construction of the Lake Habema – Nduga – Kenyem road. They note that the latter road remains a serious and immediate concern. They consider that whilst these impacts have been relatively localised, the damage being done to unique and fragile peat bogs will take hundreds of years to rehabilitate, and if road construction is completed as proposed, large areas of the property will be segmented and opened to other threatening processes including human settlement, illegal logging and poaching, introduction of alien species and uncontrolled tourist access. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that unless the broader implications of the proposed road development strategy are specifically addressed, the resulting fragmentation of the largely intact wilderness of the property is likely to result in the irreversible loss of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of significant parts of the property.
They recall that the Committee, at its 35th session, urged the State Party to commission a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the integrated transport programme for Papua province as it relates to the property, in order to identify the least environmentally damaging transport options, including alternatives to road building. On 16 April 2013, the World Heritage Centre sent a letter to the State Party requesting more information about the revival of the Trans-Papua Highway plan, and the measures taken by the State Party to ensure the protection of the property’s OUV. At the time of writing of this report, no reply had yet been received from the State Party.
b) Forest dieback
The World Heritage Centre and IUCN recall that the State Party, in its 2011 report to the Committee, acknowledged that the road construction facilitates the spread of Phytophthora fungus which causes dieback in temperate Nothofagus forest in the vicinity of the Lake Habema road. They also recall that at the time, the State Party stated that investigation and action to address forest dieback was expected to be conducted in 2011-2012. In the absence of a report from the State Party, it is not clear if the expected investigation has taken place, and which, if any, actions are being implemented to address this issue.
c) Management issues
The World Heritage Centre and IUCN recall that the 2010 International Workshop on Effective Management of Lorentz National Park World Heritage site identified a number of management issues, including a lack of implementation of the management policy, local government decentralization, unclear boundaries between regencies, limited communication between stakeholders, lack of World Heritage regulations, limited management capacity, and insufficient detail in the management plan regarding zonation, community traditional rights and use of local/traditional knowledge. They note that although the 2007-2012 Strategic Plan has been adopted, on-ground action has been delayed while a management plan and zonation plan are prepared. These plans were scheduled for completion in 2011 but their current status is unknown. They also recall that the Committee, at its 35th session, considered that the management planning process should be based on the protection of the property’s OUV. They recall that the 2011 reactive monitoring mission to the property observed that effective management intervention has been seriously hampered by conflicting objectives for the site between government agencies, different levels of government and customary owners, which generate tensions between national, provincial, regency and local governments so as to constitute an escalating threat to sound management of the property. This renders the Lorentz National Park Bureau virtually powerless to oppose development pressures and customary owners of the park entering into arrangements with provincial and regency governments and their contractors who undertake works in the park contrary to national legislation.
Whilst IUCN has received reports that both management planning and management capacity are improving, concern remains that they are currently inadequate to meet the challenges of such a large and complex area. Key strategies proposed in the 2007-2012 Strategic Plan for participatory planning, protection, biodiversity conservation, cultural heritage conservation and sustainable use appear not to have been implemented. The main reasons for this have previously been identified to be inadequate staff training and inadequate resourcing of on-ground management programmes, combined with overlapping or conflicting jurisdictional issues at all levels of government. In the long term this situation could lead to an increasing threat to the integrity of the property.
Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN
The World Heritage Centre and IUCN recall that the property’s inscription on the World Heritage List is in part justified by the fact that it is the only protected area in the world which incorporates a continuous, intact transect from snow cap to tropical marine environment. They therefore consider that if the Jayapura – Wamena – Mulia road is constructed through the property, and if construction of the Lake Habema – Nduga – Kenyem road continues, they would represent a clear potential danger to its Outstanding Universal Value in line with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines, and be a clear basis for the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
The World Heritage Centre and IUCN recommend that the Committee regret that the State Party did not provide a report on the state of conservation of the property, without which it is extremely difficult to assess progress achieved by the State Party in the implementation of requests made by the World Heritage Committee in Decision 35 COM 7B.15. They recommend that the Committee request the State Party to provide a comprehensive report on the current state of conservation of the property, including a detailed report on progress achieved with the implementation of Decision 35 COM 7B.15, and the 2008 and 2011 mission recommendations, particularly: the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the integrated transport programme for Papua Province as it relates to the property; investigation and treatment of forest dieback, and development of management guidelines to contain the spread of dieback disease; development and implementation of a strategy to engage customary owners in park management decision-making processes; any budget reviews that may have been undertaken to redirect resources to address the major threats to the property’s OUV; the current status and, if available, copies of the draft Management Plan and zonation plan; and progress in building the capacity of park staff to manage complex ecological, technical and sociological issues. They also recommend that the Committee consider the need for a further reactive monitoring mission to the property on the basis of an examination of the State Party’s report at its 38th session in 2014.
The World Heritage Centre and IUCN further recommend that the Committee urge the State Party to fully implement the recommendations of the 2010 International Workshop on Effective Management of Lorentz National Park World Heritage Site. Noting concern about the jurisdictional conflicts between national, provincial and local governments and customary owners, they recommend that the Committee urge the State Party to convene a high level national meeting, in cooperation with IUCN and UNESCO, to review in a comprehensive manner the management and governance arrangements between these levels of government and customary owners, in order to facilitate and streamline the coordinated and cooperative management of the property.
Decision Adopted: 37 COM 7B.13
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7B.Add,
2. Recalling Decision 3 5 COM 7B.1 5 , adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),
3. Takes note that the State Party did not submit its report by 1 February 2013 , and notes the information provided by the State Party in its report of 22 May 2013;
4. Notes with serious concern the State Party’s intent to proceed with the construction of the Lake Habema – Nduga – Kenyem road without undertaking a Strategic Environmental Assessment of the integrated transport plan for Papua, and considers that the continuation of construction of the Lake Habema – Nduga – Kenyam road and the proposed Jayapura – Wamena – Mulia road, if built through the property would represent a clear potential danger to its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) in line with paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines , and be a clear basis for the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger;
5. Urges the State Party to rigorously ensure the protection and conservation of the property’s OUV, and prevent the fragmentation of the largely intact wilderness that makes up the property;
6. Requests the State Party to provide detailed information about the revival of the Trans-Papua Highway plan, and the measures taken to ensure the protection of the property’s OUV;
7. Reiterates its request to the State Party to fully implement the 2008 and 2011 monitoring mission recommendations, and to prioritize the following:
a) Cease all road construction in the property and rehabilitate recently constructed roads and mitigate their impacts,
b) Further investigate and address forest die-back, and develop management guidelines for all relevant stakeholders undertaking activities within the property to contain the spread of the die-back disease,
c) Review the budgeting for the property in order to ensure that resources are directed to address the major threats to its OUV,
d) Build the capacity of park staff to manage complex ecological, technical and sociological issues;
8. Also requests the State Party to provide an electronic copy and three printed copies of the Management Plan and zoning plan for review by the World Heritage Centre and IUCN;
9. Further requests the State Party to invite an IUCN reactive monitoring mission to the property in order to assess its state of conservation, in particular in relation to impacts from road construction, to assist the State Party with developing a conservation strategy that will ensure the conservation and strict protection of the property’s OUV, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014;
10. Calls upon the international community to support the State Party in resolving the severe constraints to the effective operation of the Park management including funding, limited monitoring and surveillance equipment, and limited staff capacity and technical expertise;
11. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015 a report on the state of conservation of the property, including progress achieved in implementing the recommendations of the 2008 and 2011 monitoring missions, as well as the results of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the integrated transport programme for Papua Province, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015 .
Decision Adopted: 37 COM 8E
1. Having examined Documents WHC-13/37.COM/8E and WHC-13/37.COM/8E.Add,
2. Congratulates States Parties for the excellent work accomplished in the elaboration of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for World Heritage properties in their territories;
3. Adopts the retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value, as presented in the Annex of Document WHC-13/37.COM/8E, for the following World Heritage properties:
4. Decides that retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for World Heritage properties in Danger will be reviewed by the Advisory Bodies in priority;
5. Further decides that, considering the high number of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value to be examined, the order in which they will be reviewed by the Advisory Bodies will follow the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting, namely:
6. Requests the World Heritage Centre to harmonise all sub-headings in the adopted Statements of Outstanding Universal Value where appropriate and when resources and staff time allow to carry out this work;
7. Also requests the State Parties, Advisory Bodies and World Heritage Centre to ensure the use of gender-neutral language in the Statements proposed for adoption to the World Heritage Committee;
8. Further requests the World Heritage Centre to keep the adopted Statements in line with subsequent decisions by the World Heritage Committee concerning name changes of World Heritage properties, and to reflect them throughout the text of the Statements, in consultation with States Parties and Advisory Bodies;
9. Finally requests the States Parties to provide support to the World Heritage Centre for translation of the adopted Statements of Outstanding Universal Value into English or French respectively, and finally requests the Centre to upload these onto its web-pages.