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  N/A

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

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2005-2005)
Total amount approved: USD 66,600
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1167/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: USD 1,800,000 for the 3-year UNF/UNFIP Project (2005-2007) - Partnership for the Conservation of Sumatra Natural Heritage. 

Previous monitoring missions

2006: UNESCO / IUCN reactive monitoring mission; 2007: World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission; February 2009: World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission. 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Agricultural encroachment;

b) Illegal logging;

c) Poaching;

d) Road construction;

e) Institutional and governance weaknesses.

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

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2010

On 1 February 2010 the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (TRHS), a serial property comprised of Kerinci Seblat National Park (KSNP), Gunung Leuser National Park (GLNP), and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (BBSNP). The report provides an update on the implementation of the Emergency Action Plan during 2009, as well as an overview of actions carried out to address key threats to the property including: a) road construction; b) illegal logging; c) agricultural encroachment; poaching; and d) park management, institutional and governance weaknesses.

The report acknowledges that the property is seriously threatened by extensive agricultural encroachment, illegal logging and road construction plans, which are linked with expansion of the rural population, poverty as well as the general state of governance and management effectiveness of the property and its surroundings. It suggests that progress is being made in addressing these threats, but provides little qualification of this claim and no data on total areas encroached or logged, the status of wildlife populations, or the extent of poaching. The main threats affecting each of the three National Parks comprising the property are discussed in detail below.

a) Implementation of the Emergency Action Plan for all three components of the serial property

The State Party notes that between 2007 and 2009 parts of the Emergency Action Plan (EAP) were implemented in all three national parks comprising the property. A recent 2009 management coordination workshop, held with government agencies and other stakeholders, concluded that the EAP should be extended for at least five years. The State Party reports that a workshop to further develop the EAP is planned during the second quarter of 2010.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note the progress made in implementing the Emergency Action Plan and welcome its extension for another five years, including its further development through a workshop in 2010. All relevant ministries should be involved in this workshop (including agriculture, interior affairs, forestry, mining, people’s welfare, public works), as well as other stakeholders at both national and local levels (province and district authorities, NGOs, local communities and the private sector). Since the EAP reflects governmental commitments, it is very important that the many EAP activities which are not within the parks’ mandate, and are beyond their legal competence, should be implemented through a cross-sectoral approach with close coordination between the national and local levels, as well as governmental and non-governmental sectors. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note the need to develop and implement an ecosystem-based restoration plan of the degraded forests in the property and neighbouring landscape as part of the EAP.

b) Kerinci Seblat National Park (KSNP)

The State Party reports on the following threats to the values and integrity of KSNP:

Road construction: KSNP management has halted some road construction within the park and has initiated legal action regarding a number of planned roads. The State Party reports that the Local Government is currently discussing plans for extensive road construction within the property. IUCN has received reports that the potentially illegal Renah Pemetik road within the Park has had serious impacts on KSNP’s integrity in terms of increased forest loss and poaching.

Illegal logging: Illegal logging has decreased in KSNP as a result of anti-logging activities implemented in 2009, including 36 routine patrols and the deployment of independent community-based Forest Protection System units in 18 villages (Pam Swakarsa). Moreover, an Integrated Forest Protection Team was created in part of KSNP to combat illegal logging, as well as encroachment and illegal poaching.

Agricultural encroachment: Both pre-emptive activities to stop agricultural encroachment and repressive action were carried out in a few areas of the park. Legal action has been taken against a number of encroachers and park management has developed agreements with some encroachers to stop their activities within the park. With respect to palm oil plantation encroachment, the State Party notes that it is in the process of investigating several incidents. IUCN has received reports that monitoring by park staff, NGOs and satellite imagery clearly reveals that encroachment is continuing around and within the national park, with more than 60% of the buffer zone now lost. In some areas there is a clear correlation between encroachment and reports of planned roads. With respect to palm oil plantations, IUCN notes that a subsidiary of PT Incasi Raya, PT SJAL, has been confirmed to have cleared more than 500ha of KSNP for an oil palm estate. IUCN further notes that there is currently no legal definition of the park’s buffer zone, which is urgently required as a legal basis for land use planning, resource extraction and road construction.

Poaching: Park management has increased surveying and monitoring to twice a month, in collaboration with the Rhino Protection Unit, and legal action has been brought against several poachers. IUCN has received reports from various sources that no fewer than five, and probably more than eight, Sumatran tigers were poached in 2009 from KSNP and forests surrounding the park. Poaching of songbirds continues and has led to a serious decline over the last 10 years of many species’ populations.

Mining: The Park Manager increased integrated patrols to combat illegal sand mining activities. IUCN has received reports that open cast coal mining and open cast iron ore mining in and around KSNP are under discussion, and that gold and copper mining exploration is ongoing in several areas of the KSNP.

While the World Heritage Centre and IUCN welcome the actions undertaken by the State Party, as well as local and international NGOs, it is clear that the Outstanding Universal Value and integrity of KSNP are increasingly threatened. They note that KSNP’s ability to undertake routine field activities and implement the Emergency Action Plan in 2009 was seriously impeded by the presumed theft of the park’s operation funds, and note the actions taken by the incoming Park Director to resolve this and other administrative issues.

The main threats to KSNP relate to road construction and encroachment. In particular, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN are gravely concerned by plans for extensive road developments in and around the park which would lead to additional encroachment, illegal logging and poaching and represent a serious long-term threat to the property’s values and integrity. The State Party should clearly restate and further clarify in law that no roads shall be built through any of the parks comprising the property, and order the closure of existing illegal roads through KSNP. Any plans for road construction in the areas surrounding the property should be subject to a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in order to identify the least environmentally damaging transport options for the region, including improving existing transport links. Furthermore, the uncertain legal status of the Renah Pemetik road through KSNP should be ascertained and appropriate action taken if the road is determined to be illegal. Moreover, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN note reports of mining exploration, continued hunting and sale of songbirds, poaching of Sumatran tigers, and about reports that 50 of KSNP’s 90 rangers will now be based in Jambi that is over 300km away from the park.

c) Gunung Leuser National Park (GSNP)

The State Party reports on the following threats to the values and integrity of GLNP:

Illegal logging: Illegal logging in Aceh Province has reportedly decreased as a result of the Governor’s logging moratorium (Decree No. 5 / 2007). The Aceh Local Government has supported the conservation of GLNP and plans to recruit 1000 forest security personnel to conduct forest patrols. The State Party further notes that illegal logging in North Sumatra Province has also decreased as a result of anti-logging activities and legal prosecution of loggers. IUCN notes that while the State Party reports on anti-logging activities, the budget lines presented in the reports indicates that no funding was spent on this activity in 2009.

Agricultural encroachment: The report notes that a number of activities have been undertaken to address encroachment, including creation of an Encroachment Task Force. Encroachment resolution in ex-refugee areas is underway. IUCN has received reports from various sources noting significant and ongoing encroachment. While the size of GLNP is reported as 862,975 ha, IUCN notes that the official size is 1,094,692 ha.

While the World Heritage Centre and IUCN welcome that the park authorities and partners have continued to undertake conservation action in GLNP, the State Party’s report that threats have decreased is not quantified and is therefore difficult to substantiate. Like KSNP and BBSNP, many of the threats to GLNP are external and fall outside the jurisdiction of the property; thus solving these issues requires inter-agency working to address law enforcement, land-use management, and the relocation of displaced peoples. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN also note that the management responsibility for roughly 80% of GLNP located in Aceh Province is currently unclear and recommend that the State Party rapidly clarify this.

d) Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (BBSNP)

The State Party reports on the following threats to BBSNP:

Road construction: No new or planned roads are reported within the park and the State Party highlights the need to implement measures to overcome habitat connectivity issues arising from the Way Heni - Sukaraja road crossing BBSNP. The report further notes that monitoring of existing roads in 2009 was regularly undertaken and that an Agreement on managing existing roads within the park has been approved by the Ministry of Public Works, the Local Government and the Directorate General of Forest Conservation

Illegal logging: Illegal logging has reportedly been addressed through a number of activities including increasing routine forest patrols by rangers to 20 days per month, integrated patrols, increasing patrols within communities, and by collaborating with law enforcement on legal prosecution of illegal loggers.

Agricultural encroachment:To address encroachment problems, the park authority has undertaken a number of additional activities including increased patrols, community development programmes in villages close to encroachment areas, and law enforcement activities. The State Party also notes that in BBSNP conflict between human and large mammals, including elephants and tigers, is a persistent problem.

Concessions: IUCN has received reports that almost one third of BBSNP has been granted as a concession to the Arthur Graha Group, is concerned by the unclear purpose, extent and terms of this concession, and urges the State Party to clarify its conditions and submit its terms to the World Heritage Centre.

While the Southern part of BBSNP park retains a high degree of integrity, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that large areas in the North-Eastern part have suffered from encroachment and were considered by the 2009 IUCN/ UNESCO reactive monitoring mission to no longer have Outstanding Universal Value. The 2009 mission notes that as this situation already partly existed at the time of inscription, these areas should not have been inscribed and that they should now be excised from the property; an issue which is not addressed by the State Party report. The Way Heni - Sukaraja road crossing BBSNP is adversely affecting wildlife, particularly rhinos, and the ecological connectivity between the Northern and Southern parts of the park. The Agreement on managing this and other roads is welcome, and its terms should be forwarded to the World Heritage Centre and IUCN for review.

e) Park management, institutional and governance weaknesses across the three components of the property

As noted above, a coordination workshop was held in 2009, with government agencies and other stakeholders to address key management issues, and concluded that the EAP should be extended for at least five years, an inter-park communication and coordination mechanism should be developed, a community development programme carried out, and that an incentive mechanism for districts supporting conservation activities should be put in place. With respect to the property’s budget for 2009, the State Party notes that: i) KSNP’s budget was roughly USD 1,790,000 (17.9 billion IDR), an increase of 21% from 2008; ii) BBSNP’s budget was USD 1,610,000 (16.1 billion IDR), an increase of 15% compared to 2008; and GLNP’s budget was USD 1,930,000 (19.3 billion IDR), an increase of 6% compared to 2008. The State Party further notes that institutional capacity building has been undertaken in BBSNP through the development of a ‘resort management unit’, which undertakes the daily activities of the park, and that in GLNP, various training exercises were also undertaken. The report highlights that the limited number of forest rangers in the field encourages the park authority to collaborate with various national and local NGOs.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that some progress has been made by the State Party in improving the management of the property and urge the State Party to rapidly implement all the coordination workshop’s conclusions. They recommend that an effective and prioritised monitoring system be developed and deployed to assess the status and trends of key factors affecting the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, including encroachment, deforestation, poaching, wildlife trade, invasive species, and any anticipated climate change impacts in all components of the property. This system should, as a priority, map in detail and monitor the encroachments in and around the property and assess their changes and impacts since the inscription of the property. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that the State Party does not report on: i) the need to halt the establishment of new provinces, districts and sub-districts in the property, which add to the complexity of its management and increase threats from development; ii) the need to provide law enforcement agencies with adequate resources for expanding their law enforcement activities with respect to encroachment and poaching; and iii) the need to legally establish an appropriate buffer zone to secure the conservation of the property.

f) Opportunity to effectively address the multiple threats affecting TRHS through REDD and the Forest Investment Programme

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that Indonesia is currently one of the key focal countries engaged with the REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) processes. There are several pilot activities already underway with the support of both bilateral donors and the private sector. Furthermore, Indonesia has just been selected as one of five target countries to receive support from the Forest Investment Programme (FIP), a World Bank led initiative designed to support transformational change with respect to addressing the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation while helping to balance the tradeoffs between economic development and safeguarding forest ecosystems. Given that several of the REDD+ initiatives now operational in Indonesia are designed to address the specific threats affecting the TRHS, IUCN considers that the demonstrable and critical pressure on this exceptional site could be effectively addressed through, for example, incorporating ameliorative action in TRHS with the emerging programme of work of the Forest Investment Programme, which has the potential to deliver not only environmental gains (forest conservation and rehabilitation), but also social and sustainable economic benefits.

IUCN notes that the long term advantage of aligning TRHS conservation with Indonesia’s REDD strategy includes sustained and predictable finance that can be used to support alternative local development strategies and reward local institutions and communities for safeguarding this exceptional site. IUCN encourages the State Party to make provision within their engagement with REDD and FIP on conservation of TRHS’ forest ecosystem and could assist the State Party in designing and implementing an effective programme, given its extensive experience in developing distributional mechanisms for environmental payments and multi-stakeholder processes.

g) Conclusion of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN regarding Danger Listing

The property continues to face heavy pressure from illegal activities, including encroachment and extensive road construction plans within KSNP, which are a major threat to its Outstanding Universal Value and integrity and represent both an ascertained and potential danger in relation to the provisions of paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines, as confirmed by three monitoring missions since 2004. They recall their recommendation to inscribe the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger in parallel to inscribing the property on the World Heritage List. This proposal was not accepted, and was followed by continued discussions on Danger Listing. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN recommend that the World Heritage Committee inscribe TRHS on the List of World Heritage in Danger, and encourage the State Party to fully support this inscription as its purpose is to strengthen international cooperation efforts and promote rapid conservation action in order to safeguard this endangered property. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 34 COM 7B.14

The World Heritage Committee;

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7B.15, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Notes with utmost concern that the property continues to face intense pressure from illegal activities, including road construction, encroachment, logging, poaching and mining prospecting, which are a major threat to its Outstanding Universal Value, including the conditions for integrity, and represent both an ascertained and potential danger in relation to the provisions of Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines, as confirmed by three monitoring missions since 2004;

4. Also notes that since the time of inscription, the World Heritage Committee has been advised to place the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger as a result of continuing and aggravated threats to its values and integrity;

5. Requests the State Party to implement the following corrective measures:

a) Immediately halt all road construction plans within Kerinci Seblat National Park (KSNP), clarify in law that no roads shall be built through the parks comprising the property, close all existing illegal roads, and develop appropriate regulations and infrastructure on existing legal public roads to reduce the negative impacts of traffic on wildlife and to ensure ecological connectivity,

b) Establish a clear institutional coordination mechanism to ensure that the large number of Emergency Action Plan (EAP) activities that are not within the park's mandate, and which are beyond its legal competence, including many of the activities intended to address encroachment, illegal logging and poaching, are successfully implemented through a cross-sectoral approach, and with the participation of all stakeholders,

c) Develop and implement an effective and prioritized monitoring system to assess the status and trends of key factors affecting the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, including encroachment, illegal logging, poaching, wildlife trade, invasive species, and any anticipated climate change impacts in all components of the property,

d) Provide law enforcement agencies with adequate resources to expand their law enforcement activities with regards to illegal activities affecting the property, including encroachment, logging, poaching, and the wildlife trade,

e) Halt the establishment of new provinces, districts and sub-districts in the property in order to reduce both the administrative complexity of the property's management and the multiple development threats,

f) Establish through law an appropriate buffer zone to secure the conservation of the property,

g) Develop and implement an ecosystem-based restoration plan of the degraded forests in the property and neighbouring landscapes,

6. Also requests the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, to develop a Statement of Outstanding Universal Value for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35 session in 2011;

7. Strongly encourages the State Party to consider alternative approaches to addressing the multiple threats affecting the property by making explicit provision within their Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradiations (REDD) national strategy, and specifically the Forest Investment Programme (FIP), for prioritizing the conservation of the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra forest ecosystem, and notes IUCN's willingness to assist the State Party in designing an effective programme for the property;

8. Reiterates its position that mining is incompatible with World Heritage status, in line with the International policy statement of the International Council of Minerals and Metals (ICMM) of not undertaking these activities in World Heritage properties, and urges the State Party to ensure that the Department of Mining formally consults the management authorities of all of the different Protected Areas that form the components of the property (Kerinci Seblat National Park (KSNP), Gunung Leuser National Park (GLNP), and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (BBSNP)) in the event of mining exploration in areas within or adjacent to the World Heritage property;

9. Invites the State Party to submit an International Assistance request to provide support for the Emergency Action Plan workshop planned for 2010; 

10. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2011, a report, including periodic satellite imagery over the period 2006-2010, which demonstrates that concerns raised in previous monitoring missions such as illegal logging, agricultural encroachment, mining and illegal road construction, have ceased impacting the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

11. Requests furthermore the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission to the property in 2011 to evaluate the implementation of the recommendations of the 2009 mission and the progression of the threats, notably the logging and illegal activities including poaching, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011, with a view, in the absence of substantial progress, to considering the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.