1.         Lorentz National Park (Indonesia) (N 955)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1999

Criteria  (viii)(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/955/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1996-2001)
Total amount approved: USD 41,400
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/955/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

IUCN mission in 2004

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Mining;

b) Security limitations;

c) Development threats;

d) Exploitation of marine resources;

e) Absence of a co-ordinating agency;

f) Absence of a finalized strategic management plan;

g) Absence of physically designated Park boundaries;

h) Inadequate financing.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/955/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

The State Party submitted a report on 9 November 2006 with information that the Strategic Plan 2005-2010 for Lorentz had been developed, in cooperation with Australia’s Department of the Environment and Heritage and the Wet Tropics Management Authority, through a participatory process involving relevant stakeholders in local and national workshops. The State Party further submitted an electronic copy of the Strategic Plan in early 2007. However, the State Party did not report on the human and financial resources required to implement the Strategic Plan as requested by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006).

The State Party reports that the park management authority “Balai Taman Nasional Lorentz” has been established in 2006 and the new park manager appointed in October 2006. In March 2007, IUCN received information that the new park manager had assumed duties in Papua and that two or three district rangers had been appointed and also assumed their duties, including in Timika in the south of the park.

According to the State Party, a number of park management activities have been implemented in 2006 through the Papua Regional Conservation Agency with support from WWF-Indonesia, including regional spatial planning, participatory mapping, buffer-zone and community development, awareness-raising, and a study on environmental services, park protection and prevention of illegal wildlife trade.

The State Party further reminds the Committee that the WWF Rapid Assessment and Prioritisation of Protected Areas Management (RAPPAM) methodology was used at a workshop supported by WWF-Indonesia in early 2006 to evaluate the management effectiveness of the park. The workshop resulted in recommendations such as addressing economic pressures and threats in the region, improving management effectiveness, especially in relation to funding and staffing, and ensuring support from local government and international donor agencies.

According to the State Party report, the proposed government budget for the park in 2007 is USD 1,126,186. This budget will be used to finance a range of management activities, based on current management issues as well as the Strategic Plan and RAPPAM recommendations. A significant part of the budget for 2007 will also be used for constructing an office for the park management authority.

UNEP’s Rapid Response Assessment (RRA) of threats to Indonesia’s national parks, launched in February 2007, indicates that pressure on Lorentz from illegal logging and mining activities has been comparably low in the past, but is projected to increase rapidly and become a serious threat during the period 2005-2010. In 2005, logging concessions on 11.6 million hectares of forests in Papua province were granted to 65 different logging companies, highlighting the increased pressure on Papua’s natural resources and the potential for impacts on this property.

Reports received by IUCN in March 2007 also highlighted the multiple threats to Lorentz and the lack of clearly determined and marked boundaries as well as the absence of an effective management plan and management body. Illegal logging is reportedly taking place in Mimika and community logging continues in Timika and Wamena, within the property. Also, concerns reportedly continue over the potential impacts of the tailings of the Freeport gold and copper mine adjacent to the western boundary of the property as well as Conoco’s oil and gas exploration permit/plan adjacent to the eastern boundary of the property (and inside the national park). Further threats cited include poaching and an administrative reform creating new districts, and thus new potential development pressures, in and around the park area. Reports have previously noted that protest activities continued around the controversial Freeport mine in Timika with a blockade by traditional gold miners in October 2006.

IUCN and the World Heritage Centre commend the State Party for finalising the Strategic Plan 2005-2010 as requested by the Committee at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004). It is understood, however, that this Strategic Plan has yet to be formally approved and implemented. The State Party also needs to be commended for the important steps taken in developing the management body for the property and encourages the State Party to allocate the necessary resources to “Balai Taman Nasional Lorentz” to enable it to manage the property and address the threats to its values and integrity. The proposed budget for 2007 is encouraging but needs to be secured and sustained. It is regretted that no progress has been reported on the elaboration of the management plan. However, it is noted that the Strategic Plan is a key step in the ongoing participatory planning process leading to the management plan, and that WWF-Indonesia is supporting the State Party in developing the management plan and is currently building local capacity amongst communities, government and local NGOs for their future participation in the management of Lorentz.

It may be noted that that the State Party has again not reported, as requested by the Committee at various sessions, on the actual and potential impacts of the Freeport mine, in particular the mine tailings, and the independent environmental audit of the Lake Habema Road requested by the Committee at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004). In addition, the progress of determining and marking of the boundaries of the property has not been reported on.

The Freeport mine continues to be a frequent source of controversy, and the environmental and socio-economic issues surrounding it may threaten the property if they remain unresolved. Of particular concern remains the pollution of the marine and estuary areas of the property resulting from the water discharged from the mine tailings into the Ajkwa River estuary, near the boundary of the property, and its potential longshore drifting into the marine part of the property.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 31 COM 7B.18

The World Heritage Committee,

1.Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2.Recalling Decisions 29 COM 7B.12 and 30 COM 7B.14, adopted at its 29th (Durban, 2005) and 30th (Vilnius, 2006) sessions respectively,

3.Regrets that the report submitted by the State Party does not provide all the information requested by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006);

4.Notes that there are ongoing significant threats to the values and integrity of the property which require concerted effort and adequate resources to address;

5.Commends the State Party on the establishment of the park management authority "Balai Taman Nasional Lorentz";

6.Requests the State Party to implement the Strategic Plan 2005-2010 and to proceed with the urgent development and implementation of the management plan;

7.Calls on the international donor community to accord high priority to funding the implementation of the Strategic Plan, once it has been formally approved by the State Party, and the development and implementation of the management plan for the property;

8.Reiterates its request to commission an independent environmental audit of the proposed Lake Habema Road, as already requested at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004);

9.Also requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN mission to assess the state of conservation of the property, in consultation with all relevant stakeholders;

10.Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2008, a detailed report on state of conservation of the property and on progress made in addressing the different issues noted above, as well as the identification and marking of the boundaries of the property and the threats from illegal logging and mining activities, in particular those associated to the discharge of water from the mine tailings, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 32nd session in 2008.