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World Heritage Convention

Decision 43 COM 7A.1
Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Indonesia) (N 1167)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7A.40 adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Welcomes the progress achieved by the State Party on increasing patrols within the property to reduce poaching and illegal logging, and the commitment of the Provincial Government of Aceh to prioritize the prevention of further deforestation in the Aceh part of the Leuser Ecosystem;
  4. Takes note of the Emergency Action Plan for Sumatran Rhino and guidebook for monitoring Sumatran Tiger but notes with concern the continued spatial limitation of the surveys that do not allow for comprehensive monitoring of the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), and requests the State Party to monitor range occupancy of the four key species (Sumatran Elephant, Tiger, Rhino and Orangutan);
  5. Notes with significant concern the ongoing forest loss and strongly requests the State Party to scale up efforts to halt encroachment and to implement control measures to prevent further proliferation of the invasive species Merremia peltata while prioritizing increased patrolling, monitoring and forest restoration activities of ecologically sensitive areas, wildlife corridors, and road sides;
  6. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre the 2018 forest cover data that will form the baseline for measuring progress towards achieving the indicator for the DSOCR, and to also report on the forest cover in the property, to allow a consistent comparison across the years;
  7. Also welcomes the State Party’s commitment not to grant any permits for geothermal energy exploration inside the property, and encourages the State Party to legislate against possible future geothermal development proposals inside World Heritage properties;
  8. Further requests the State Party to ensure that all planned projects or works are subject to Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) processes in conformity with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, with a specific section focusing on the potential impact of the project on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), and that information about any planned projects is submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  9. Notes that the State Party will consult the World Heritage Centre and IUCN to develop a proposal for a significant boundary modification to better reflect the OUV of the property and the modifications made to the national park boundaries via Ministerial Decrees;
  10. Reiterates its concern that two road upgrade projects have been approved without the necessary EIA process and urges the State Party:

    a) Not to start the construction of the Karo-Langkat road upgrade until an EIA, including an assessment of the OUV of the property, has been undertaken in consultation with IUCN,

    b) To ensure that a comprehensive assessment of the impacts on the OUV for the Bukit Tapan road upgrade is undertaken and appropriate mitigation measures identified and submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN prior to further construction taking place;

  11. Requests furthermore the State Party to enhance the geographic coverage of patrols in the property, to expedite the boundary demarcation of the property to halt encroachment, and to continue implementing all other corrective measures;
  12. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 44th session in 2020;
  13.  Decides to retain the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Indonesia) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Decisions adopted during the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee (Baku, 2019)
Context of Decision