1.         Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Indonesia) (N 1167)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2004

Criteria  (vii)(ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2011-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Adopted; see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5970 
Revised, see page
http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/7213

Corrective measures identified

Adopted; see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5970
Revised, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/7213

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Adopted; see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/5970

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1167/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2005-2012)
Total amount approved: USD 96,600
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1167/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

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)

Previous monitoring missions

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

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1167/

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:

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

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.

Decision Adopted: 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:

    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.

Decision Adopted: 43 COM 8C.2

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: