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Borobudur Temple Compounds

Indonesia
Factors affecting the property in 2006*
  • Commercial development
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    Uncontrolled vendors around the property

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Tourism development pressure;

b) Uncontrolled vendors around the property;

c) Lack of institutional coordination.

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2006

Total amount provided to the property: USD 7,000,000 between 1972 and 1983.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2006
Requests approved: 2 (from 1998-1999)
Total amount approved : 5,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2006**

16-20 April 2003 and 17-25 February 2006.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2006

A joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS mission (17-25 February 2006), carried out at the request of the World Heritage Committee (Decision 29 COM 7B.53 ), assessed the state of conservation of the World Heritage property of Borobudur Temple Compound, in Indonesia. The mission paid particular attention to issues related to the overall heritage and tourism management of the locality, and the status of earlier development proposals for roads, shopping centre and a retail precinct (Jagad Jawa).

As requested by the Committee, the State Party has confirmed in writing (in the report submitted in February 2006 to the World Heritage Centre) and reiterated during the Mission that no major road developments will be carried out in zones 1, 2 and 3; no major commercial complexes will be built within any of the 5 zones; and that the Jawa Jagad Project has been now cancelled. The very strong commitment of the Indonesian authorities to protect the heritage value of the site and address the requests by the Committee should be given adequate recognition, considering also the substantial interests attached to the proposed development projects.

In the absence of clear policies, regulations and procedures for the land use of the area surrounding the World Heritage property, however, the potential for new and inappropriate development proposals remains a constant threat to the integrity of the landscape. Indeed, a new proposal was brought to the attention of the Mission for the execution of a commercial street along the northern edge of the buffer zone for a length of approximately 1.5km.

Another potentially harmful project under way is that of an asphalt mixing plant in the vicinity of the Temple, which has been constructed but is not operational due to a dispute in court between the owner and the competent authorities which had not accorded their agreement to the project. Dust emissions from this plant could threaten the stone conservation program of the Temple structure.

As stressed by the report of the Reactive Monitoring Mission of 2003 [1], the temple of Borobudur cannot be seen as a monument isolated from its context. While the nomination file of 1991 referred mainly to the artistic and historic significance of the Temple, it is apparent that its Outstanding Universal Value (i.e. the ultimate justification for its inscription on the World Heritage List) depends also on the extraordinary relationship between the monument and its setting. The latter is at serious risk of loosing its integrity if urgent steps are not taken. The protection of this setting is also crucial for the long-term sustainable development of the local community.

As for the requested Visitors’ management Plan, although such a document has not been prepared by the State Party, significant efforts have been made since the previous mission of 2003. These include the new so-called Borobudur Ship Museum as an added attraction, live open-air dance performances near the site entry to manage congestion on the monument, some new visitor facilities, increased security measures, a clearly defined tourist movement route across the site, clear directional signage and basic training of local guides.

The extent of the vendor stalls around the car park and site entry forecourt, however, remains a major concern. The current, visually chaotic situation is not compatible with the visitor’s expectation of a world class heritage site as it detracts significantly from the experience and is a cause for frustration for visitors and local community alike. This problem is related to the lack of an effective policy to develop sustainable tourism in the area of Borobudur by using the Temple as a platform to bring benefits to the entire community.

Concerning the mechanisms to ensure coordination among the various institutions having some interest in the management of the site and its surrounding, these are predominantly informal (i.e. through occasional meetings). A steering Committee was set up by the Minister of Culture in 2004, but it apparently only met once in 2005 (in February). These meetings of the Committee, moreover, seem to be more forums for discussions rather than a formalised coordination mechanism. The coordination seems therefore to be still weak and not governed by any written policy document or formal procedures.

At the meeting of February 2005, for example, an Action Plan for the development of the World Heritage sites of Borobudur and Prambanan was agreed upon. This included short, medium and long term actions, but it did not indicate the responsibilities for their implementation. Some of these actions, moreover, seem to be rather formulated as objectives (e.g. “improving the role of the community in the preservation and protection of the World Heritage sites”).

The division of the responsibility for zones 1, 2 and 3 among three separate institutions with different mandates and objectives is at the root of most of the problems at Borobudur. Decisions taken by each of these institutions, especially by PT Taman Wisata (managing zone 2, i.e. the buffer zone), are likely to impact on the zones under the responsibility of the other two institutions, in the absence of a common vision and clear mechanisms to coordinate. The issue is not just that these institutions do not coordinate enough among themselves, but that their respective objectives appear to be sometimes conflicting, and no formal regulatory and planning framework exists to reconcile these different mandates within a single agreed vision and policy.

To address this situation, which undermines the effective management for conservation of the World Heritage property, there is a need for a reform of the management system. This will have to ensure stronger coherence for the protection of the wider setting of the World Heritage temple and a regulatory and planning framework to enable the concerned authorities to more effectively manage the property and its buffer zone.

The Mission examined as well the state of conservation of the stone of the Temple. Direct observation of the poor state of the bas-reliefs and the data provided through the monitoring programme conducted by the national authorities, showing that the rate of material deterioration of the stone continues to increase, seem to indicate that the current methodology of conservation may not be appropriate, and call for its reconsideration.

A complete set of recommendations, with indicative time-frames for implementation, is included in the mission report, whose conclusions were discussed at length with the national authorities in Jakarta.

These recommendations include:

a) Not carrying out the proposed development of a commercial street along the northern edge of zone 2;

b) A review of the Presidential Decree of 1992 to establish a single, combined, management authority for zones 1 and 2, and the extension of the boundaries of zone 3 (i.e. to become the new buffer zone of the site);

c) The development of appropriate regulatory & planning framework for the area surrounding the World Heritage property, with a view to preserving its rural character;

d) The development of a management plan for the Borobudur World Heritage property, once the new management authority has been established;

e) Maintaining the current layout of zones 1 and 2 and improving the quality and appearance of the existing infrastructure where the vendors are located, by reducing its extent and controlling it so as to avoid over spilling throughout zone;

f) Upgrading the urban design, facades and infrastructure of the street and square leading to the site (where the existing village is developing in a chaotic way).

Concerning the deterioration of the stone of the Temple, the Mission recommended, as initial steps, to:

a) Develop and conduct a diagnostic monitoring programme to identify the causes of the current increasing rate of deterioration of the stone;

b) Organize an international stone conservation experts’ meeting to review results of the monitoring and discuss future options.

Further recommendations included in the Mission Report concern specifically ways to improve management of tourism at the site.



[1]Borobudur Temple Compound, Central Java, Indonesia – UNESCO – ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring Mission, 16-20 April 2003, Mission report. By Richard Engelhardt and Graham Brooks

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2006
30 COM 7B.65
State of Conservation (Borobudur Temple Compound)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-06/30.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 29 COM 7B.53, adopted at its 29th session (Durban, 2005),

3. Commends the national authorities for having cancelled the projects for major road developments, commercial complexes and a retail precinct in the vicinity of the World Heritage property, as well as for the significant improvements in the management of visitors within the core area of the property;

4. Requests the State Party not to implement the proposed commercial street development along the road on the northern edge of zone 2 of the World Heritage property;

5. Also requests the State Party to conduct an impact assessment of the asphalt mixing plant to determine whether or not it could cause any damage to the values of the World heritage property and, if in the affirmative, to take the appropriate measures to remove or mitigate the involved risks;

6. Further requests the State Party to review the legal and institutional framework for the protection and management of the World Heritage property and its surrounding area, along the lines indicated in the report of the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Mission. To this end, the State Party should accomplish, within one year, the following benchmark tasks:

a) Elaborate a draft of the Presidential Decree to be revised, developed through a preliminary consultation among all concerned parties, and according to the concept outlined in the report of the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Mission;

b) Develop a detailed design proposal, including plans and elevations at the adequate scale, for the improvement of the entry area;

c) Improve the interpretation at the site Museum according to the standard of the Ship Museum, and provide brochures in foreign languages at the latter, including reference to the status of Borobudur as a World Heritage property and the reasons why it was inscribed on the World Heritage List;

d) Develop and put in place a specific diagnostic monitoring programme aimed at identifying the cause for the increasing rate of deterioration of the stone, if necessary with assistance from the World Heritage Centre;

7. Requests moreover the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1February2007, a report including information on the progress achieved in the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Mission, as well as of the specific benchmarks indicated in paragraph 6 above, for the consideration of the Committee at its 31st session in 2007.

Draft Decision: 30 COM 7B.65

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-06/30.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decision 29 COM 7B.53, adopted at its 29th session (Durban, 2005),

3. Commends the national authorities for having cancelled the projects for major road developments, commercial complexes and a retail precinct in the vicinity of the World Heritage property, as well as for the significant improvements in the management of visitors within the core area of the property;

4. Requests the State Party not to implement the proposed commercial street development along the road on the northern edge of zone 2 of the World heritage property;

5. Also requests the State Party to conduct an impact assessment of the asphalt mixing plant to determine whether or not it could cause any damage to the values of the World heritage property and, in the affirmative, to take the appropriate measures to remove or mitigate the involved risks;

6. Further requests the State Party to review the legal and institutional framework for the protection and management of the World Heritage property and its surrounding area, along the lines indicated in the report of the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Mission. To this end, the State Party should accomplish, within one year, the following benchmark tasks:

a) Elaborate a draft of the Presidential Decree to be revised, developed through a preliminary consultation among all concerned parties, and according to the concept outlined in the report of the joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS Mission,

b) Develop a detailed design proposal, including plans and elevations at the adequate scale, for the improvement of the entry area;

c) Improve the interpretation at the site Museum according to the standard of the Ship Museum, and provide brochures in foreign languages at the latter, including reference to the status of Borobudur as a World Heritage property and the reasons why it was inscribed on the World Heritage List;

d) Develop and put in place a specific diagnostic monitoring programme aimed at identifying the cause for the increasing rate of deterioration of the stone, if necessary with assistance by the World Heritage Centre.

7. Requests moreover the State Party to submit to the World heritage Centre, by 1 February 2007, a report including information on the progress achieved in the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS Mission, as well as of the specific benchmarks indicated in paragraph 6 above, for the consideration of the Committee at its 31st session in 2007.

Report year: 2006
Indonesia
Date of Inscription: 1991
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(ii)(vi)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 30COM (2006)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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