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Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra

Indonesia
Factors affecting the property in 2015*
  • Governance
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Illegal activities
  • Land conversion
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Road construction
  • Agricultural encroachment
  • Illegal logging
  • Poaching
  • Institutional and governance weaknesses
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Road construction,
  • Mining,
  • Illegal logging,
  • Encroachment. 
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger
Corrective Measures for the property
Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2015

Total amount granted: 1,800,000 USD for the 3-year UNF/UNFIP Project (2005-2007) – Partnership for the Conservation of Sumatra Natural Heritage; 35,000 USD Rapid Response Facility grant (2007); 30,000 USD International Assistance for development of Emergency Action Plan (2012)

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2015
Requests approved: 2 (from 2005-2012)
Total amount approved : 96,600 USD
Missions to the property until 2015**

February-March 2006: UNESCO/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; March 2007: World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; February 2009: World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; April 2011: World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; October 2013: IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

On 23 January 2015, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1167/documents/. The report provides the following information:

  • No further loss of primary forest cover and no net loss of secondary forest cover in the property. Rehabilitation and restoration of 62,860 ha of degraded forests in the property;
  • Combating encroachment through awareness raising of local communities, and intensified cooperation between central and local governments, including joint patrols;
  • Population trends from 2011 to 2013 suggest an increase in tigers, and a decrease in elephants. No data is provided or available for rhino and orangutan. Actions focused on management of key wildlife populations include regular monitoring in cooperation with NGOs, and targeted protection of specific local populations of key species in Gunung Leuser National Park (GLNP);
  • There are no new road developments within the property. All three components of the property have been declared National Strategic Areas which prohibits infrastructure development. An inception workshop has taken place for the development of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) requested by the Committee;
  • There are no mining concessions or mining exploration permits within the property. Illegal small scale mines are in the process of being closed and rehabilitated;
  • Maintenance of boundary markers is reported. No details are provided;
  • Measures have been taken to improve law enforcement. No details are provided;
  • Several measures taken to implement the Emergency Action Plan (EAP) are listed;
  • In response to the Committee’s concern expressed in Decision 38 COM 7A.28 about pressure to downgrade the protection status of Kerinci Seblat National Park (KSNP), it is stated that such downgrading is not possible under Indonesian Law;
  • Assurance is given that no geothermal energy will be developed within the property. A permit for geothermal energy development exists immediately adjacent to Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (BBSNP);
  • Ministerial Decree Number SK.941/Menhut-II/2013 on Changes in Forest Areas does not include the Aceh Spatial Plan.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2015

The confirmation that no mining concessions or exploration permits exist within the property, and that geothermal energy will not be developed within the property is welcome. However, it is noted that the permit for geothermal energy development adjacent to BBSNP includes a part that appears to be fully surrounded by the property. Hence there is still a likelihood of impacts on Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) from the development, including from access roads. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to assess these impacts in accordance with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment.

It is noted with appreciation that closure of illegal small scale gold mines has been initiated, but further information is required to measure progress toward the full removal of all illegal mines and their rehabilitation.

The information that there are no new road developments within the property is noted with appreciation and the letter from the Regent of Merangin District dated 24 June 2014 (attached to the State Party’s report) indicates strong support from local communities for the rejection of a proposed road, citing concerns over impacts on the environment and their livelihoods. Nevertheless, continued pressure for development of roads for evacuation and to improve connectivity in the areas surrounding the property highlights the importance of undertaking the SEA requested by the Committee (Decision 36 COM 7A.13) to identify transport options for the region that do not adversely impact the property’s OUV. While some progress has been made in that regard, and recalling that the State Party in 2013 reported that the implementation of the SEA was expected to commence that same year and its completion would take 18 months, it is recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to expedite the implementation of the SEA and to submit the completed SEA to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2017, for review by IUCN.

It is welcomed that Ministerial Decree Number SK.941/Menhut-II/2013 on Changes in Forest Areas does not include the Aceh Spatial Plan. However, it remains unclear what the current status of the Aceh Spatial Plan is, and the Committee is recommended to request the State Party to make a clear and unequivocal commitment to ensure that the Aceh Spatial Plan will not have negative impacts on GLNP and key areas in the Leuser Ecosystem that are critical to the integrity of the property, as required by Indicator 7 of the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR).

The information provided by the State Party that no further loss of primary forest cover and no further net loss of secondary forest cover has occurred requires confirmation on the basis of scientific evidence, including time series of satellite images collected at short intervals since the property’s inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2011. Likewise, the population trends of tiger and elephant require confirmation on the basis of regular wildlife population monitoring data, which should equally be collected for rhino and orangutan. In the absence of such data, it is impossible to assess progress towards achieving the respective indicators of the DSOCR.

Further information is required on measures taken to improve law enforcement, and their effectiveness should be demonstrated, including by data on numbers of arrests made, numbers of successful prosecutions, and trends of illegal activities such as poaching and encroachment.

Finally, it is recommended that the Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2015
39 COM 7A.15
Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Indonesia) (N 1167)
The World Heritage Committee,
  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.28, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Welcomes the confirmation by the State Party that no mining concessions or exploration permits exist within the property, and that geothermal energy will not be developed within the property, and requests the State Party to submit the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the license for the development of geothermal energy adjacent to Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, which should include an assessment of potential impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment;
  4. Notes with appreciation that the closure of illegal small-scale gold mines has been initiated, and also requests the State Party to ensure the full closure of all illegal gold mines within the property, and the rehabilitation of affected areas;
  5. Also notes with appreciation that no new road development has occurred within the property, and noting the continued pressure for the development of roads for evacuation and improving connectivity in the areas surrounding the property, urges the State Party to expedite the implementation of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) requested by the Committee (Decision 36 COM 7A.13) and to submit the completed SEA to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, for review by IUCN;
  6. Further requests the State Party to make a clear and unequivocal commitment to ensure that the Aceh Spatial Plan will not have any negative impacts on the property and on key areas within the Leuser Ecosystem that are critical to the integrity of the property;
  7. Requests furthermore the State Party to provide further information on the actions taken to improve law enforcement, and to provide statistics on trends of illegal activities, including poaching and encroachment;
  8. Requests moreover the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, including clear scientific data to demonstrate progress in meeting the indicators of the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), in particular in relation to law enforcement, forest cover, and population trends of key species, including tiger, elephant, rhino and orangutan, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  9. Decides to retain the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Indonesia) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
39 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of the World Heritage in Danger

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-15/39.COM/7A and WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 39 COM 7A.38)
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 39 COM 7A.39)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 39 COM 7A.18)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosi (Decision 39 COM 7A.44)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.1)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 39 COM 7A.45)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.2)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.3)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.4)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.5)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.6)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.7)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.8)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 39 COM 7A.24)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.10)
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 39 COM 7A.40)
  • Georgia, Historical Monuments of Mtskheta (Decision 39 COM 7A.41)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.20)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 39 COM 7A.15)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 39 COM 7A.25)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 39 COM 7A.26)
  • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 39 COM 7A.27)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 39 COM 7A.11)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 39 COM 7A.21)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 39 COM 7A.22)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 39 COM 7A.12)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 39 COM 7A.28)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 39 COM 7A.29)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 39 COM 7A.46)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 39 COM 7A.47)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.13)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 39 COM 7A.42)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 39 COM 7A.16)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 39 COM 7A.30)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 39 COM 7A.31)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 39 COM 7A.32)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 39 COM 7A.33)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 39 COM 7A.34)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 39 COM 7A.35)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 39 COM 7A.23)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 39 COM 7A.43)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.14)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.17)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 39 COM 7A.48)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 39 COM 7A.37)
Draft Decision: 39 COM 7A.15

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.28, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Welcomes the confirmation by the State Party that no mining concessions or exploration permits exist within the property, and that geothermal energy will not be developed within the property, and requests the State Party to submit the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the license for the development of geothermal energy adjacent to Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, which should include an assessment of potential impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in line with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment;
  4. Notes with appreciation that the closure of illegal small-scale gold mines has been initiated, and also requests the State Party to ensure the full closure of all illegal gold mines within the property, and the rehabilitation of affected areas;
  5. Also notes with appreciation that no new road development has occurred within the property, and noting the continued pressure for the development of roads for evacuation and improving connectivity in the areas surrounding the property, urges the State Party to expedite the implementation of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) requested by the Committee (Decision 36 COM 7A.13) and to submit the completed SEA to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, for review by IUCN;
  6. Further requests the State Party to make a clear and unequivocal commitment to ensure that the Aceh Spatial Plan will not have any negative impacts on the property and on key areas within the Leuser Ecosystem that are critical to the integrity of the property;
  7. Requests furthermore the State Party to provide further information on the actions taken to improve law enforcement, and to provide statistics on trends of illegal activities, including poaching and encroachment;
  8. Requests moreover the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, including clear scientific data to demonstrate progress in meeting the indicators of the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), in particular in relation to law enforcement, forest cover, and population trends of key species, including tiger, elephant, rhino and orangutan, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  9. Decides to retain the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Indonesia) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2015
Indonesia
Date of Inscription: 2004
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 2011-present
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2015) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 39COM (2015)
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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