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Lorentz National Park

Lorentz National Park

Lorentz National Park (2.35 million ha) is the largest protected area in South-East Asia. It is the only protected area in the world to incorporate a continuous, intact transect from snowcap to tropical marine environment, including extensive lowland wetlands. Located at the meeting-point of two colliding continental plates, the area has a complex geology with ongoing mountain formation as well as major sculpting by glaciation. The area also contains fossil sites which provide evidence of the evolution of life on New Guinea, a high level of endemism and the highest level of biodiversity in the region.

Parc national de Lorentz

Le parc national de Lorentz est la plus vaste aire protégée d'Asie du Sud-Est (2,35 millions d'hectares). Son gradient mer-montagne est unique au monde – depuis les neiges éternelles jusqu'à un environnement tropical marin, y compris de grandes étendues de basses terres humides. Située au point de collision de deux plaques continentales, cette zone possède une géologie complexe avec une formation montagneuse en cours et une importante sculpture due à la glaciation. La zone contient aussi des sites fossilifères qui témoignent de l'évolution de la vie en Nouvelle-Guinée, ainsi que d'un haut niveau d'endémisme et du plus haut niveau de biodiversité de la région.

الروضة الوطنية في لورنتز

تشكل روضة لورنتز الوطنية المساحة المحمية الأوسع في جنوب شرق آسيا (2.5 مليون هكتار). فالتناقض بين البحر والجبل فيه فريد من نوعه في العالم – من الثلوج الدائمة إلى بيئة مدارية بحرية، بما في ذلك مساحات شاسعة من الأراضي المنخفضة الرطبة. وإذ تقع هذه المنطقة عند نقطة تصادم صفيحتين قاريتين، فهي تتمتع بتركيبة جيولوجية معقدة مع تكوين جبلي جارٍ حاليًا وبنية نحتية بارزة سببها التجلّد. وتحتوي المنطقة أيضًا على مواقع أحفورية تشهد على تطور الحياة في غينيا الجديدة، وعلى مستوى عالٍ من الاستيطانية وأعلى مستوى من التنوع البيولوجي في المنطقة.

source: UNESCO/ERI

洛伦茨国家公园

洛伦茨公园占地面积250万公顷,是东南亚最大的保护区,也是世界上唯一一个既包括积雪覆盖的山地又有热带海洋环境、以及广阔低地沼泽的连续完好的保护区。它位于两个大陆板块碰撞的地方,这里的地质情况复杂,既有山脉的形成又有冰河作用的重要活动。这里还保存着化石遗址,记载了新几内亚生命的进化。这一地区拥有动植物的地方特色及丰富的生物多样性。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Национальный парк Лоренц

Национальный парк Лоренц (2,5 млн. га) – одна из самых крупных охраняемых природных территорий во всей Юго-Восточной Азии. Это уникальный резерват, в котором представлен полный спектр различных высотных поясов, сменяющих один другой: от горных заснеженных вершин до обширных прибрежных мангровых зарослей и акватории тропического моря. Так как эта местность располагается на стыке двух геологических платформ, здесь продолжаются процессы горообразования, равно как и гляциологические процессы. Также обнаружены окаменелости, по которым можно судить о ходе эволюции жизни на Новой Гвинее – острове, который отличается высочайшим уровнем эндемизма и биоразнообразия.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Parque nacional de Lorentz

Con una superficie de 2.500.000 de hectáreas, este parque es la zona protegida más vasta del sudeste de Asia. Su gradiente de altitud es único en el mundo, ya que va desde cimas con nieves perpetuas hasta ecosistemas marinos tropicales, pasando por grandes extensiones de humedales de tierras bajas. Situada en el punto de colisión de dos placas continentales, la zona del parque presenta una configuración geológica compleja con montañas en cursos de formación e importante erosiones debidas a la glaciación. El sitio posee también una gran cantidad de especies endémicas y la diversidad biológica más rica de la región, junto con yacimientos fosilíferos que aportan un testimonio sobre la evolución de la vida en Nueva Guinea.

source: UNESCO/ERI

ロレンツ国立公園

source: NFUAJ

Nationaal park Lorentz

Het Nationale park Lorentz is met 2,35 miljoen hectare, het grootste beschermde gebied in Zuidoost Azië. Het is het enige beschermde gebied ter wereld met een onafgebroken en intacte doorsnede van besneeuwde bergtop tot het tropische mariene milieu, inclusief uitgebreid moerassig laagland. Gelegen op het ontmoetingspunt van twee botsende continentale platen, heeft het gebied een complexe geologie. Het gebied bevat ook fossiele plaatsen die het bewijs leveren van de evolutie van het leven op Nieuw-Guinea, met een hoog niveau van endemie en het hoogste niveau van biodiversiteit in de regio.

Source: unesco.nl

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Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

Lorentz National Park is located in Indonesia’s Papua Province, along the ‘Pegunungan Mandala’ range, whose Puncak Cartenz (4884 m asl) is the highest peak in Southeast Asia. The property covers an area of 2.35 million hectares, making it the largest conservation area in Southeast Asia and stretches for over 150 km from Irian Jaya’s central cordillera mountains in the north to the Arafura Sea in the south.

Designated as a National Park in 1997 under Decree of the Minister of Forestry the property contains an outstanding range of ecosystems, representative of the high level of biodiversity found across the region. It is one of only three tropical regions in the world that have glaciers and its mosaic of land systems ranges from snow-capped mountain peaks to extensive lowland wetlands and coastal areas. The property also contains fossil sites, a high level of endemism and the richest biodiversity in the region.

Thirty-four vegetation types and 29 land systems have been identified within the property along with some 123 recorded mammal species, representing 80% of the total mammalian fauna of Irian Jaya. Mammals recorded include two of the world’s three monotremes; the short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), and the long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus bruijinii) a New Guinea endemic. In addition it is also home to a large number of restricted range (45) and endemic (9) bird species. The property has remarkable, cultural diversity, with seven ethnic groups, maintaining their traditional lifestyles. The highland, communities include the Amungme (Damal), Dani Barat, Dani Lembah Baliem, Moni and Nduga, whereas in the lowlands there are Asmat, Kamoro and Sempan.

Criterion (viii): The geology and landforms of Lorentz National Park display graphic evidence of earths’ history.  Located at the meeting point of two colliding continental plates, the area has a complex geology with ongoing mountain formation as well as major sculpting by glaciation and shoreline accretion. The dominating mountain range is a direct product of the collision between the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates and the property contains the highest points of the mountains of Papua New Guinea and the only remaining glaciers on the island. There is also clear evidence of post glacial shorelines.

Graphically illustrating the geomorphological effect of the last glacial and post-glacial periods, the mountains show all the classical glacial landforms including lakes and moraines. Furthermore, there are five small remnant glaciers. While all five glaciers are retreating rapidly under present climatic conditions, no other tropical glacier fields in the world exhibit glacial evolution as well as those in Lorentz National Park. There is also no better example in the world of the combined effect of collision of tectonic plates and the secondary major sculpting by glacial and post-glacial events.

Criterion (ix): Lorentz National Park is the only protected area in the world that incorporates  a continous ecological transect from snow capped mountain peaks to a tropical marine environment, including extensive lowland wetlands. The geophysical processes and high rainfall found along this transect are consistent with the development of significant on-going ecological processes as is the division of the property into two distinct zones: the swampy lowlands and the high mountain area of the central cordillera. The climatic gradient, the greatest throughout the island of New Guinea and the entire Australian tectonic region, extends from nival zones and glaciers to lowland equatorial zones with an associated extreme range of faunal and floral species and communities.

Lorentz National Park provides evidence of highly developed endemism in both plants and animals, especially for the higher altitudes of the mountains, as expected in a region combining on-going uplift and climatic warming.

Criterion (x): The mountain building processes that have occurred over time have provided temperate refuges in the tropics for ancient Gondwanan plant species during the climatic warming that has occurred since the last ice age. For example, Lorentz National Park’s Nothofagus beech forests are well represented, although their closest relatives are otherwise confined to the cool temperate regions of south-eastern Australia, New Zealand and the southern Andes. The property is more than just the habitat for many rare, endemic and restricted range species. Its large size and exceptional natural integrity makes it especially important for their on-going evolution as well as thier long term conservation.

The refugial effect or local genetic evolution, or both, are manifest as locally endemic species or restricted range species. Much of the rich biota of Lorentz National Park is new or of special interest to science. A number of mammal species, including recent discoveries like the Dingiso tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus mbaiso) discovered in 1994, have evolved to utilize the specialized habitats within the property.

The property covers substantial areas of two identified Endemic Bird Areas (EBAs) with a total of 45 restricted range birds and nine endemic species. Two of the restricted range bird species, Archbold’s bowerbird (Archboldia papuensis), and MacGregor’s bird-of-paradise (Macgregoria pulchra), are considered rare and vulnerable. Mammals recorded within the property include two of the world’s three monotremes; the short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), and the long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus bruijinii) a New Guinea endemic. Lorentz National Park will become increasingly important for long term conservation of the species already recorded and the many that remain to be discovered.

Integrity

One of the outstanding features of the property is its large size, stretching for over 150 km from Irian Jaya’s central cordillera mountains in the north to the Arafura Sea in the south and covering 2.5 million ha, it is the largest protected area in Southeast Asia, making it a globally significant large tract of intact tropical forest. It is the only protected area in the world that incorporates a continous ecological transect from snow capped mountains to a tropical marine environment, including extensive lowland wetlands and protecting a complex of river catchments that extend from the tropical ice-cap to the tropical sea. The extensive size of the property is one of the guarantees ensuring the integrity of the habitats it hosts, ranging from glaciers, alpine vegetation, montane forest, lowland wet forest, freshwater marsh, to the coastal mangrove forests in the Arafura Sea. The large area included within the boundaries also assists in maintaining the high level of biodiversity found in the park including numeorus endemic species.

Several threats need to be addressed to ensure the integrity of the park including; development pressures, road construction, boundary demarkation, mining activity, petroleum exploration, illegal logging, impacts from human residents and limited management capacities and resources. There is a need to develop a comprehemsive management plan for the property which addresses the issue of limited effective field management as well as long term protection of the property from on-going threats. The size of the property, while providing an inherent degree of protection, also greatly influences the level of funding, staff capacity and technical expertise required to effectively manage. These issues and threats need to be addressed in more detail to ensure the outstanding universal value of the park remains intact and its stewardship is assured. Previously identified threats, such as unclear boundaries of the property and illegal fishing activities, are no longer considered as major threats, but require continued monitoring to ensure the maintenance of the integrity of the property.

Protection and management requirements

The management of Lorentz National Park World Heritage Property is under the authority of the Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation, Ministry of Forestry, Republic of Indonesia. The first formal protection offered to the property covered a core area of the Lorentz landscape and was applied in 1919 by the Dutch Colonial Government and removed as a result of conflict with local people over land ownership. A Strict Nature Reserve was subsequently established in 1978 with Lorentz National Park (2,505,600 ha) established by Ministerial Decree in 1997 under Law No. 41 on Forestry, 1999. The property is also covered by Law No. 5 of 1990 Concerning Conservation of Biodiversity and Ecosystems.

Responsibility for management of protected areas in Indonesia sits with the Directorate of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation (PHKA) within the Department of Forestry in the Central Government. Operational management has been conducted by Lorentz National Park Bureau (Balai Taman Nasional Lorentz) since 2007 under the Minister of Forestry regulation 29/2006 which established the management structure for the property.

The Strategic Plan, the long term management plan and the zoning system are under development through broad and participatory processes involving related stakeholders. Long-term management tools address current and future threats including the estabilishment of new districts and road development within the property. Despite limited technical and financial resources, regular patrolling activities carried out to detect and halt illegal activities in the park. Nevertheless, additional resources are needed. To assist in addressing and overcoming this problem, the “Friends of Lorentz” initiative has been endorsed by a broad range of national and international partners, and aims to mobilize long term financial and technical assistance, as well as much needed capacity building for the effective management of the property.  

The Indonesian Ministry of Forestry has requested the local government to monitor and halt continued work on a number of developments, including the existing and planned road developments within the boundaries of the property. In addition, the World Heritage Working Group under the Coordinating Ministry of Social Welfare as the national focal point for World Heritage is establishing an intergovermental coordination unit to address this issue and ensure continued monitoring of road developments.

International experts are being identified by the National Park management authority to proivde advice and technical assistance to combat forest die-back caused by Phytophora disease in Nothofagus forests. The private sector is also engaged providing necesary financial support. In addition, acknowledging the importance of involving indigenous communities in the effective protection of the park, communication channels are being forged with local indigenous organizations. This collaboration is key to facilitating negotiation and conflict resolution between different tribes as well as in carrying out comprehensive studies on the biodiversity and natural resources in areas where indigenous communities live.

Long Description

The park stretches for over 150 km, from Irian Jaya's central cordillera mountains in the north to the Arafura Sea in the south. The park can be divided into two very distinct zones: the swampy lowlands and the high mountain area of the central cordillera. The central cordillera itself can be subdivided in the eastern part and the western part on the basis of geology and vegetation types.

The central mountain ranges are the southern portion of two colliding continental plates, which are causing the mountain range to rise. The lowering and rising of the sea level during the glacial and interglacial periods of the Pleistocene epoch, along with continuous activity in the mobile belt which characterizes the contact zone of the two colliding lithospheric plates, has continued to promote the great biodiversity of the island of New Guinea in general, and in the Lorentz area in particular. Large tracts of the mountain range and especially the area formed by the traditional lands of the Amungme (or Amung) are rich in mineral deposits, especially gold and copper. The Carstenz/Puncak Jaya section of the Jayawijaya mountain range still retains small ice caps. It is one of only three equatorial of sufficiently high altitude to retain permanent ice. The main snowfields comprise five separate areas of ice on the outer margins of Mount Puncak Jaya. These include two small fields which feed the Meren and Carstenz glaciers and a small hanging glacier on the Carstenz Pyramid.

Based on physiographic types, five altitudinal vegetation zones have been identified within Lorentz National Park: lowland zone, montane zone, subalpine zone, alpine zone and nival zone; some of the zones are further divided into subzones.

The lowland zone comprises the beach subzone covered by vegetation ranging from pioneer herbaceous communities on the first beach ridge to tall mixed forest inland. The tidal swamp subzone comprises one land system, the Kajapah, consisting of intertidal swamps of mangrove and nipah palm. The montane altitudinal zone comprises the Kemum land system, steep-sided deeply dissected mountain ridges. This altitudinal zone is subdivided into lower montane subzone, mid-montane subzone and upper montane subzone. The subalpine zone occurs from 3,200 m to 4,170 m. All alpine zones are located above 4,170 m and consist of alpine peaks with bare rocks and residual ice caps. The lower subalpine forest is floristically poor. The alpine zone lies between 4,170 m and 4,585 m. The alpine vegetation includes all communities growing above the tall shrub limits. These are grassland, heath and tundra.

In the highlands of Lorentz National Park, six species are endemic to the Snow Mountains; 26 species are endemic to the central Papuan ranges Endemic Bird Area while three species are endemic to the south Papuan lowlands EBA. Globally threatened animal species were found in the lowlands. Vulnerable and threatened birds of the mountains include Salvadori's teal, the snow mountain robin, and Macgregor's bird of paradise. Mammals include two of the world's three monotremes; the short-beaked echidna Tachyglossus aculeatus, a species shared with Australia, and the long-beaked echidna Zaglossus bruijinii, a New Guinea endemic. Mammals also include a range of marsupials including at least four species of cuscus, several species of tree kangaroo and one species of Dasyuridae, often referred to as the 'tiger cat'.

The indigenous human population comprises eight (and possibly nine) tribal groups. The region has been inhabited for over 24,000 years and has evolved some of the most distinctive and long isolated cultures in the world.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC