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 https://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 https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/955/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Mining, Oil/Gas Exploration; Lack of human or financial resources; Lack of institution coordination. 

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

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2004

In January 2004 IUCN undertook a mission to the site, responding to the invitation extended by the State Party in March 2003. The State Party delegation included representatives from the Indonesian Protected Area Management Agency (PHKA) and Natural Resources Conservation Body of the Province of Papua.

 

In a letter dated 18 February 2004, the Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Indonesia observed that the mission team met all stakeholders and found that most of them supported the protection of Lorentz. He noted that local communities continued to have access to the site for traditional activities and highlighted the need to improve communications among stakeholders and explore ecotourism development options.

 

IUCN has stressed the benefits of involving Papua officials concerned with the management of Lorentz in the mission team.  Many of them had returned from a training workshop held in November-December 2003 in Cairns, Australia. IUCN, however, identified several gaps and inadequacies in the management of the site: (a) absence of a co-ordinating agency and staff for site-level actions; (b) inadequate financial resources to undertake field management; (c) absence of a finalized strategic or management plan to guide management responses; (d) uncertainty and threats posed by devolution of powers from central to provincial and local levels of government; (e) absence of physically designated Park boundaries; (f) security limitations on staff and public access to parts of the Park; (g) development threats arising from local government planning for roads, urban areas and plantations; (h) alleged, intense exploitation of marine resources of the Park and the lack of staff to regulate such use and mitigate impacts; and (i) ongoing impacts of the Habbema road including disease, die back, increased fire and enhanced access for illegal logging as well as implications for future road construction projects in the Park.

 

Two offices established to take responsibility for Lorentz play a limited role in site management. Financial and other resource shortages prevent on-site management within a large area of the Park. PHKA plans for establishing a “Balai Taman Nasional Lorentz” as a co-ordinating authority have not progressed and there is no firm commitment to the timing of its establishment. Neither a Park Director nor supporting staff has been appointed.

 

Possibilities for twinning Lorentz with the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage property of Australia were explored at the recent training workshop in Cairns, Australia, but no formal agreement had been concluded. An informal association is already developing between the two properties as a consequence of the workshop. The on-going co-operative project between Australia and Indonesia financed by AusAID is on going and is helping the preparation of a strategic plan for Lorentz.

 

The establishment of a Foundation to assist financing and management of Lorentz had been discussed in meetings soon after the inscription of the site in 1999 but IUCN found no evidence of further action on this matter.  More than ever there is a need to set up a Foundation or a similar mechanism for financing site management. Despite serious management inadequacies the values for which Lorentz was inscribed as World Heritage in 1999 remain intact.  Any degradation of such values so far are limited to the local level. But all indications are that without specific and rapid interventions and application of a sufficiently robust management regime, degradation will certainly accelerate and some of the outstanding universal values may be degraded or lost in the future. IUCN expressed serious concern over potential threats arising from ‘pre-existing development rights’ for a number of areas in the site, most of which had been zoned and approved for urban and administrative development prior to establishment of the Park and its listing as World Heritage.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 28 COM 15B.10

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Urges early finalization and implementation of the strategic plan;

2. Recommends that the State Party establish the planned “Balai Taman National Lorentz” immediately and improve community awareness of the property, particularly in the Lorentz region;

3. Invites the State Party to commission an independent review of the management of the property’s coastal and marine zones and an independent environmental audit of the impacts of the Habema Road, particularly the evidence linking impacts of the road to dieback disease in the Nothofagus temperate forests;

4. Further recommends that the State Party review the threats arising from claims for “pre-existing development rights” and its implications for the conservation of the property and submit a report by 1 February 2005 for examination by the 29th session of the Committee in 2005;

5. Congratulates the State Party and Australia for establishing a programme of cooperation and welcomes the partnership between the management of the Wet Tropics of Queensland (Australia) and Lorentz National Park (Indonesia);

6. Calls upon the global donor community to support the conservation of Lorentz National Park in the immediate future and over the long-term;

7. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2005 a progress report on follow-up action taken into account the IUCN mission recommendations for examination by the Committee at its 29th session in 2005.