Committee Decisions

28 COM 14B.5

Nominations of Natural Properties to the World Heritage List (Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra)

The World Heritage Committee,


1. Inscribes the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra, Indonesia, on the World Heritage List on the basis of natural criteria (ii), (iii) and (iv):


Criterion (ii): The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra represent the most important blocks of forest on the island of Sumatra for the conservation of the biodiversity of both lowland and mountain forests. This once vast island of
tropical rainforest, in the space of only 50 years, has been reduced to isolated remnants including those centered on the three nominated properties. The Leuser Ecosystem, including the Gunung Leuser National Park, is by far the largest and most significant forest remnant remaining in Sumatra. All three parks would undoubtedly have been important climatic refuge for species over evolutionary
time and have now become critically important refuge for future evolutionary processes.


Criterion (iii): The parks that comprise the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra are all located on the prominent main spine of the Bukit Barisan Mountains, known as the ‘Andes of Sumatra’. Outstanding scenic landscapes abound at all scales. The mountains of each site present prominent mountainous backdrops to the settled and developed lowlands of Sumatra. The combination of the spectacularly beautiful Lake Gunung Tujuh (the highest lake in southeast Asia), the magnificence of the giant Mount Kerinci volcano, numerous small volcanic, coastal and glacial lakes in natural forested settings, fumaroles belching smoke from forested mountains and numerous waterfalls and cave systems in lush rainforest settings, emphasise the outstanding beauty of the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra.


Criterion (iv): All three parks that comprise the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra are areas of very diverse habitat and exceptional biodiversity. Collectively, the three sites include more than 50% of the total plant diversity of
Sumatra. At least 92 local endemic species have been identified in Gunung Leuser National Park. The nomination contains populations of both the world’s largest flower (Rafflesia arnoldi) and the tallest flower (Amorphophallus
titanium). The relict lowland forests in the nominated sites are very important for conservation of the plant and animal biodiversity of the rapidly disappearing lowland forests of South East Asia. Similarly, the montane forests, although less threatened, are very important for conservation of the distinctive montane vegetation of the property.


2. Encourages the State Party to consider the extension of the World Heritage property to include other Leuser Ecosystem protected lands surrounding Gunung Leuser National Park, particularly the Singil Barat Wildlife Reserve, Langsa lowlands and foothills, Aceh Highlands and Tapaktuan lowlands;


3. Requests the State Party to submit detailed topographical maps clearly showing the boundaries for each site by 1 February 2005;


4. Noting the urgency of the ascertained threats to the site,


5. Requests the State Party to submit a State of Conservation Report and an emergency action plan by 1 February 2005 focusing on:


   a) the serious threats posed to the nominated sites by on-going illegal logging and agricultural encroachment,
   b) urgent review of the proposed Ladia Galaska Road, especially its likely serious impacts on both the nominated Gunung Leuser National Park and the surrounding Leuser Ecosystem,
   c) the need to secure international assistance (especially for capacity building) to better protect and manage the nominated sites, with highest priority being for Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park. Assistance is additionally required to replace the many derelict visitor facilities and
infrastructure and to develop an ecotourism / visitor management strategy in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park,
   d) protection of the critical habitat ‘missing link’ across the Merangin River between the main eastern and western blocks of the Kerinci Seblat National Park;

in order to enable the 29th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2005 to consider whether to send a monitoring mission to the site and the possibility of
including the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs 86-93 of the Operational Guidelines (2002).

Themes: Inscriptions on the World Heritage List
Session: 28COM