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Komodo National Park

Indonesia
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems / management plan
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Fire (wildfires) (issue resolved)
  • Illegal activities (Deer poaching; coral blasting; illegal dynamite and cyanide fishing) (issues resolved)
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 3 (from 1993-1995)
Total amount approved : 119,500 USD
Missions to the property until 2021**

July 1995: mission to assess the state of conservation (mission cancelled); September 2000: joint UNESCO/IUCN mission; January – February 2002: joint UNESCO-UNEP-RARE Center for Tropical Conservation mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 9 March 2020, the World Heritage Centre sent a letter to the State Party requesting clarification regarding third-party information about planned developments in the property, along with other urgent threats to its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), as follows:

  • Infrastructure development on Rinca Island in anticipation of the G-20 Summit to be held in 2023, and construction of tourism facilities on Padar Island without notifying the Committee, despite the provisions of Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  • Significant tourism growth targets and announced tourism reforms that could potentially affect the livelihoods of local communities and trigger local protests;
  • A significant increase in illegal fishing activities in the property, including in no-take zones;
  • Management issues in the property’s marine area, including lack of enforcement of sustainable tourism practices, such as observing no-anchoring zones.

On 30 April and 6 May 2020, the State Party provided the following information:

  • The State Party is developing an Integrated Tourism Master Plan (ITMP) for Labuan Bajo (on the west of the island of Flores, outside of the property) and including the islands of Rinca and Padar (which are part of the property), and is moving away from mass tourism and towards quality tourism;
  • The 10-year Medium-Term Management Plan of the property (2016-2025), which is part of the Long-Term Plan 2000-2025, identifies seven goals for the property to become a “World-Class Ecotourism Destination” and “the Leading National Pride in Conservation Area Management”. Periodic monitoring and reporting will be conducted in order to measure progress with the implementation of the Medium-Term Management Plan;
  • Facilities located within the “utilization zone” of the property are being updated to improve their quality and strengthen their resilience to natural disasters and climate change. An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), realised in accordance with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, is underway and several other actions are planned to address the potential urgent risks to the OUV of the property;
  • The Komodo dragon population in the property has fluctuated between 2,430 and 3,022 during the 2015 to 2019 period, based on the ecological study conducted by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

On 30 October 2020, the World Heritage Centre requested the State Party not to proceed with any tourism infrastructure project that may affect the OUV of the property prior to a review of the relevant EIA by IUCN. On 30 October 2020, the State Party submitted to the World Heritage Centre an EIA for tourism infrastructure construction on Rinca Island.

Following the review by IUCN, the World Heritage Centre requested the State Party to revise and resubmit the EIA in accordance with the Operational Guidelines and the IUCN Advice Note, both in writing and during an online meeting with the State Party on 5 November 2020. The World Heritage Centre also reiterated the request through letters dated 12 January and 12 March 2021. At the time of writing the present report, the State Party has not yet provided the revised EIA.

In a letter dated 12 March 2021, the World Heritage Centre further requested comments from the State Party following third-party information about significant changes made to the zoning system of the property in 2020, which resulted in a decrease of the wilderness zone to one-third of the previous area, the attribution of further tourism concessions within and near the property, and reported new legislation that would exempt infrastructure works in the property from the obligation of undergoing an EIA. At the time of writing the present report, the State Party has not yet provided a response.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021

The ongoing efforts to develop an ITMP are noted, but it is unclear to what extent the ITMP considers the World Heritage status and values of the property or how much of the property it will cover. The ITMP has the potential to improve coordination among central, provincial and local governments, which is required if tourism growth targets are to be realised in a sustainable way. Third-party information transmitted to the State Party indicates that a target of 500,000 annual visitors for the property has been proposed, which is more than double the pre-COVID-19 pandemic visitor numbers. This raises the question of how this tourism model fits with the State Party’s vision of moving away from mass tourism to more sustainable approaches. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to provide detailed information on how the plans to significantly increase tourism to the property will impact its OUV and how tourism will be managed.

It is of concern that the EIA for the tourism infrastructure projects on Rinca Island did not adequately assess potential impacts on the property’s OUV. This is further aggravated by the reported new legislation, which would permit infrastructure development inside the property to proceed without an EIA, as well as the attribution of several additional tourism concessions across the property following a change in the zoning of the property. It is recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to revise the EIA and resubmit it to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN as a matter of urgency, and to halt the projects until technical review is provided by IUCN. The State Party should also be requested to provide information on all tourism concessions within and near the property and submit the new zoning plan. It should be recalled that any development proposal requires an impact assessment in relation to the OUV, carried out in line with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, and to be submitted to the World Heritage Centre, in accordance with Paragraphs 118bis and 172 of the Operational Guidelines, before any decision is made that would be difficult to reverse. Furthermore, in view of multiple threats, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, notably to assess the impact of ongoing developments on the OUV of the property and to review its state of conservation.

The research activities and long-term monitoring of the Komodo dragon are commendable, and its relatively stable population trend within the property is noted. Given the risk that the proposed significant increases in tourism may pose, there is a need to continue monitoring the species closely.

The lack of operational equipment and technical capacity to address complex marine management issues is also a cause for concern. The 2017 IUCN World Heritage Outlook for the property identified the need to broaden the management focus to address issues within the marine components of the property and has rated the conservation of the property as being of “significant concern” since 2014. More effective law enforcement is needed to prevent destructive and illegal fishing practices and anchoring in sensitive coral reef areas, to ensure that the OUV is preserved and that the property can continue to provide benefits to local communities. From 2017 to 2019, the World Heritage Centre supported the translation of several marine management guidance documents into Indonesian and organized two capacity-building workshops at the property. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to strengthen marine capacity at the property and allocate sufficient budget for marine research, monitoring, education and compliance with marine regulations.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7B.93
Komodo National Park (Indonesia) (N 609)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision CONF 202 21B.11, adopted at its 26th session (Budapest, 2002),
  3. Takes note that an Integrated Tourism Master Plan is being developed and requests the State Party to provide detailed information on how the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property will be safeguarded in the design of the Plan, and how plans to significantly increase tourism at the property reflect the stated intention to move away from mass tourism and can thus ensure the protection of the OUV;
  4. Notes with satisfaction the research activities and long-term monitoring of the Komodo dragon, which show a stable population trend, and urges the State Party to continue regular population censuses and implement management measures in the context of proposed tourism increase;
  5. Notes with concern the different tourism infrastructure projects undertaken and planned in the property and, also recalling that it should be informed, via the World Heritage Centre, of any major restoration or new construction before making any decision that would be difficult to reverse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, also requests the State Party to revise the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the tourism infrastructure projects on Rinca Island in line with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, and to resubmit it to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN as a matter of urgency, in line with Paragraph 118bis of the Operational Guidelines, and to submit further information on other attributed tourism concessions in the property as well as its revised zoning plan;
  6. Also urges the State Party to halt all tourism infrastructure projects in and around the property that have the potential to impact on its OUV until the revised EIA is submitted and reviewed by IUCN;
  7. Further requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to assess the impact of ongoing development on the OUV of the property and review its state of conservation;
  8. Also notes with concern the lack of operational equipment and technical capacity to manage the property’s marine area, and requests furthermore the State Party to urgently strengthen marine management and law enforcement capacities in the property, with a specific emphasis on controlling illegal fishing activities and boat anchoring, and to allocate a sufficient budget for marine research, monitoring, education and compliance with marine regulations;
  9. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, 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 45th session.
Draft Decision: 44 COM 7B.93

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision CONF 202 21B.11, adopted at its 26th session (Budapest, 2002),
  3. Takes note that an Integrated Tourism Master Plan is being developed and requests the State Party to provide detailed information on how the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property will be safeguarded in the design of the Plan, and how plans to significantly increase tourism at the property reflect the stated intention to move away from mass tourism and can thus ensure the protection of the OUV;
  4. Notes with satisfaction the research activities and long-term monitoring of the Komodo dragon, which show a stable population trend, and urges the State Party to continue regular population censuses and implement management measures in the context of proposed tourism increase;
  5. Notes with concern the different tourism infrastructure projects undertaken and planned in the property and, also recalling that it should be informed, via the World Heritage Centre, of any major restoration or new construction before making any decision that would be difficult to reverse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, also requests the State Party to revise the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the tourism infrastructure projects on Rinca Island in line with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, and to resubmit it to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN as a matter of urgency, in line with Paragraph 118bis of the Operational Guidelines, and to submit further information on other attributed tourism concessions in the property as well as its revised zoning plan;
  6. Also urges the State Party to halt all tourism infrastructure projects in and around the property that have the potential to impact on its OUV until the revised EIA is submitted and reviewed by IUCN;
  7. Further requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to assess the impact of ongoing development on the OUV of the property and review its state of conservation;
  8. Also notes with concern the lack of operational equipment and technical capacity to manage the property’s marine area, and requests furthermore the State Party to urgently strengthen marine management and law enforcement capacities in the property, with a specific emphasis on controlling illegal fishing activities and boat anchoring, and to allocate a sufficient budget for marine research, monitoring, education and compliance with marine regulations;
  9. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, 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 45th session in 2022.
Report year: 2021
Indonesia
Date of Inscription: 1991
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(x)
Documents examined by the Committee
Initialy proposed for examination in 2020
arrow_circle_right 44COM (2021)
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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