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Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra

Indonesia
Factors affecting the property in 2019*
  • Governance
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Illegal activities
  • Land conversion
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Renewable energy facilities
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Management systems/management plan
  • Ground transport infrastructure (Road construction)
  • Land conversion (Agricultural encroachment)
  • Illegal activities (Illegal logging; Poaching)
  • Governance (Institutional and governance weaknesses)
  • Renewable energy facilities (Geothermal development license adjacent to the property)
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 2019

Total amount granted: USD 1,800,000 for the 3-year UNF/UNFIP Project (2005-2007) – Partnership for the Conservation of Sumatra Natural Heritage; USD 35,000 Rapid Response Facility Grant (2007)

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2019
Requests approved: 2 (from 2005-2012)
Total amount approved : 96,600 USD
Missions to the property until 2019**

February-March 2006: joint UNESCO/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; March 2007: joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; February 2009: joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; April 2011: joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; October 2013: IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; April 2018: IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2019

On 1 February 2019, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1167/documents/, providing the following updates:

  • The moratorium on new logging concessions in primary forests and peatlands continues to be in place, and efforts to rehabilitate degraded forests in the property are ongoing through community participation and stakeholder partnerships;
  • Deforestation data shows continued loss across all three components of the property notably due to land use conversion and expansion of bushland including Merremia peltata, an Invasive Alien Species (IAS), with a higher rate in buffer zones and lower rate in Intensive Protection Zones;
  • The Provincial Government of Aceh has committed to prioritize the prevention of further deforestation in the Aceh part of the Leuser Ecosystem;
  • The State Party commits to not grant permits for geothermal energy exploration within the property;
  • The State Party will consult IUCN on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Karo-Langkat road improvement in Gunung Leuser National Park (GLNP). The construction work for the upgrade of Bukit Tapan road in Kerinci Seblat National Park (KSNP) is on hold due to a discrepancy in documents;
  • The State Party will consult the World Heritage Centre and IUCN to propose a significant boundary modification to better reflect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property and the modifications made via Ministerial Decrees, however a governmental decision has been taken not to include the wider Leuser Ecosystem;
  • A guidebook for monitoring Sumatran Tiger populations has been published and 30 staff from national parks in Sumatra have been trained for its implementation. Equivalent guidebooks for Sumatran Orangutan, Elephant and Rhino populations are being developed;
  • A 2018-2021 Emergency Action Plan for the breeding and reintroduction of Sumatran Rhino has been developed;
  • A national strategy on IAS was developed in 2015 as part of efforts to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets by 2020, and a specific guideline on controlling Merremia peltata was developed in 2016;
  • Patrolling efforts in all three components of the property increased in 2018, which recorded a corresponding decline in poaching incidents and illegal logging in the patrolled areas;
  • Some boundary demarcation activities were undertaken in KSNP in 2018, the results and map for which are under development.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2019

The continued efforts to strengthen the patrolling activities within all three components of the property are welcomed, as is the commitment of the Provincial Government of Aceh to prioritize the prevention of further deforestation in the entire Leuser Ecosystem. Continued efforts are needed to curb the ongoing deforestation within the property and its buffer zones, and scale up the forest restoration activities with priorities given to ecologically sensitive areas, wildlife corridors and road sides. It is also critical that the geographic coverage of patrols is enhanced in line with the corrective measures. The State Party report does not provide clear information on progress towards achieving these specific, targeted activities nor on 2018 forest cover data, which forms the baseline for measuring progress towards achieving the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) indicator.

The State Party’s commitment not to grant permits for geothermal energy exploration within the property is welcomed, and the State Party should be encouraged to reflect this commitment through legislation to rule out the possibility of future geothermal development proposals within World Heritage properties.  The Committee should remind the State Party to ensure that all planned projects or works are subject to EIA processes in conformity with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, and that information about any planned projects that could have an impact on the OUV of the property is submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN before any decisions are made that may be difficult to reverse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

The development of a guidebook for the monitoring of the Sumatra Tiger is noted, but further training appears to be needed to ensure that it is systematically applied across the three national parks to provide consistent monitoring methods. The surveys are currently spatially limited and therefore cannot measure range occupancy, which is one of the DSOCR indicators. It is also of concern that a consistent monitoring process for the other three key species is still missing.

The State Party’s intention to consult IUCN on the EIA for the Karo-Langkat road is noted. It is regrettable that approval for the road upgrade has already been issued, even though it contradicts the approved DSOCR and has a high likelihood of negatively impacting the OUV of the property.  It is therefore critical that the State Party does not start the project before an EIA is undertaken in consultation with IUCN to review the impacts on the OUV. The upgrade of Bukit Tapan should have also been subjected to an EIA with a specific assessment of its impact on the OUV. The State Party should therefore be requested to ensure no further construction is carried out until a specific assessment on the OUV has been completed and appropriate mitigation measures identified, and submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN.  

The 2018 IUCN mission identified encroachment as the most serious long-term threat to the property, and it is evident from the State Party’s report that encroachment continues to be a major driver for deforestation. Very limited progress on boundary demarcation appears to have been made, with the only activities reported in KSNP. Noting the importance of a clear boundary demarcation to enforce the law and in particular stop further encroachment, the State Party should be requested to expedite this activity.

While some positive progress has been made by the State Party, it is clear that considerably more effort is required to measure its indicators and achieve the DSOCR and associated corrective measures. It is therefore recommended to retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2019
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.
43 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (Retained Properties)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/19/43.COM/7A, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.3 and WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add.3.Corr),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 43 COM 7A.41)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision43 COM 7A.42)
  • Austria, Historic Centre of Vienna (Decision 43 COM 7A.45)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 43 COM 7A.48)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.5)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 43 COM 7A.6)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.7)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.8)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 43 COM 7A.9)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.10)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.11)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 43 COM 7A.17)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 43 COM 7A.4)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 43 COM 7A.1)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 43 COM 7A.18)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 43 COM 7A.19)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 43 COM 7A.20)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 43 COM 7A.22)
  • Kenya, Lake Turkana National Parks (Decision 43 COM 7A.12)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 43 COM 7A.23)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 43 COM 7A.24)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 43 COM 7A.25)
  • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 43 COM 7A.26)
  • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 43 COM 7A.27)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 43 COM 7A.13)
  • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 43 COM 7A.53)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 43 COM 7A.54)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 43 COM 7A.55)
  • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 43 COM 7A.43)
  • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 43 COM 7A.14)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 43 COM 7A.30)
  • Palestine, Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town (Decision 43 COM 7A.29)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 43 COM 7A.50)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 43 COM 7A.51)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.15)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 43 COM 7A.46)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 43 COM 7A.2)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 43 COM 7A.31)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 43 COM 7A.32)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 43 COM 7A.33)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 43 COM 7A.34)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 43 COM 7A.35)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 43 COM 7A.36)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 43 COM 7A.56)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 43 COM 7A.47)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 43 COM 7A.16)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 43 COM 7A.3)
  • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 43 COM 7A.44)
  • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 43 COM 7A.52)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 43 COM 7A.38)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 43 COM 7A.39)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 43 COM 7A.40)
Draft Decision: 43 COM 7A.1

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:
    1. 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,
    2. 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.
Report year: 2019
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 (2019) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 43COM (2019)
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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