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

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2004

Criteria  (vii)(ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2011-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Adopted; see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5970

Corrective measures identified

Adopted; see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5970

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Adopted; see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5970

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1167/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2005-2012)
Total amount approved: USD 96,600
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1167/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount granted: 1,800,000 USD for the 3-year UNF/UNFIP Project (2005-2007) – Partnership for the Conservation of Sumatra Natural Heritage; 35,000 USD Rapid Response Facility grant (2007); 30,000 USD International Assistance for development of Emergency Action Plan (2012)

Previous monitoring missions

February-March 2006: UNESCO/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; March 2007: World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; February 2009: World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; April 2011: World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; October 2013: IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1167/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

On 23 January 2015, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1167/documents/. The report provides the following information:

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

The confirmation that no mining concessions or exploration permits exist within the property, and that geothermal energy will not be developed within the property is welcome. However, it is noted that the permit for geothermal energy development adjacent to BBSNP includes a part that appears to be fully surrounded by the property. Hence there is still a likelihood of impacts on Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) from the development, including from access roads. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to assess these impacts in accordance with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment.

It is noted with appreciation that closure of illegal small scale gold mines has been initiated, but further information is required to measure progress toward the full removal of all illegal mines and their rehabilitation.

The information that there are no new road developments within the property is noted with appreciation and the letter from the Regent of Merangin District dated 24 June 2014 (attached to the State Party’s report) indicates strong support from local communities for the rejection of a proposed road, citing concerns over impacts on the environment and their livelihoods. Nevertheless, continued pressure for development of roads for evacuation and to improve connectivity in the areas surrounding the property highlights the importance of undertaking the SEA requested by the Committee (Decision 36 COM 7A.13) to identify transport options for the region that do not adversely impact the property’s OUV. While some progress has been made in that regard, and recalling that the State Party in 2013 reported that the implementation of the SEA was expected to commence that same year and its completion would take 18 months, it is recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to expedite the implementation of the SEA and to submit the completed SEA to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2017, for review by IUCN.

It is welcomed that Ministerial Decree Number SK.941/Menhut-II/2013 on Changes in Forest Areas does not include the Aceh Spatial Plan. However, it remains unclear what the current status of the Aceh Spatial Plan is, and the Committee is recommended to request the State Party to make a clear and unequivocal commitment to ensure that the Aceh Spatial Plan will not have negative impacts on GLNP and key areas in the Leuser Ecosystem that are critical to the integrity of the property, as required by Indicator 7 of the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR).

The information provided by the State Party that no further loss of primary forest cover and no further net loss of secondary forest cover has occurred requires confirmation on the basis of scientific evidence, including time series of satellite images collected at short intervals since the property’s inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2011. Likewise, the population trends of tiger and elephant require confirmation on the basis of regular wildlife population monitoring data, which should equally be collected for rhino and orangutan. In the absence of such data, it is impossible to assess progress towards achieving the respective indicators of the DSOCR.

Further information is required on measures taken to improve law enforcement, and their effectiveness should be demonstrated, including by data on numbers of arrests made, numbers of successful prosecutions, and trends of illegal activities such as poaching and encroachment.

Finally, it is recommended that the Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 39 COM 7A.15

The World Heritage Committee,
  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.28, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Welcomes the confirmation by the State Party that no mining concessions or exploration permits exist within the property, and that geothermal energy will not be developed within the property, and requests the State Party to submit the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the license for the development of geothermal energy adjacent to Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, which should include an assessment of potential impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment;
  4. Notes with appreciation that the closure of illegal small-scale gold mines has been initiated, and also requests the State Party to ensure the full closure of all illegal gold mines within the property, and the rehabilitation of affected areas;
  5. Also notes with appreciation that no new road development has occurred within the property, and noting the continued pressure for the development of roads for evacuation and improving connectivity in the areas surrounding the property, urges the State Party to expedite the implementation of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) requested by the Committee (Decision 36 COM 7A.13) and to submit the completed SEA to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, for review by IUCN;
  6. Further requests the State Party to make a clear and unequivocal commitment to ensure that the Aceh Spatial Plan will not have any negative impacts on the property and on key areas within the Leuser Ecosystem that are critical to the integrity of the property;
  7. Requests furthermore the State Party to provide further information on the actions taken to improve law enforcement, and to provide statistics on trends of illegal activities, including poaching and encroachment;
  8. Requests moreover the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, including clear scientific data to demonstrate progress in meeting the indicators of the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), in particular in relation to law enforcement, forest cover, and population trends of key species, including tiger, elephant, rhino and orangutan, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  9. Decides to retain the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Indonesia) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 39 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-15/39.COM/7A and WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: