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Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra

Indonesia
Factors affecting the property in 2009*
  • Governance
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Illegal activities
  • Land conversion
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Agricultural encroachment;

b) Illegal logging;

c) Poaching;

d) Road construction;

e) Institutional and governance weaknesses.

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2009

Total amount provided to the property: USD 1,800,000 for the 3-year UNF/UNFIP Project (2005-2007) - Partnership for the Conservation of Sumatra Natural Heritage. 

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2009
Requests approved: 1 (from 2005-2005)
Total amount approved : 66,600 USD
Missions to the property until 2009**

2006: UNESCO / IUCN reactive monitoring mission; 2007: World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission; February 2009: World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission. 

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2009

At the time of inscription in 2004, the IUCN evaluation report recognized roads and road building as an immediate and present threat to the property which also facilitated poaching, encroachment and illegal logging. IUCN recommended inscribing the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger at the same time as inscribing the property on the World Heritage List. This proposal was not accepted, but continued loss of forest cover, encroachment and declines in populations of wildlife led to discussions of Danger Listing in 2006 and 2007, following two further reactive monitoring missions. The World Heritage Centre/IUCN reactive monitoring mission of 2007 noted that the efforts of the State Party had not been able to halt the various human activities degrading the Outstanding Universal Value and integrity of the property and that further consideration of the inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger should occur after a further mission in 2009 and based on progress reported by the State Party.

No state of conservation report was received from the State Party in 2009. The report below is based on the findings of the joint UNESCO / IUCN reactive monitoring mission which took place in February 2009.

The mission recognized the efforts of the State Party in the face of extensive threats within and adjacent to each of the three components of the property: Bukit Barisan, Gunung Leuser and Kerinci Seblat. The mission noted that the Emergency action plan (EAP) proposed by the 2007 mission has not been fully implemented but considered that it was not realistic to expect that the EAP be completed in only two years.

The mission observed park authorities and partners have continued to make improvements in relation to issues noted by the 2007 reactive monitoring mission in Gunung Leuser National Park (GLNP), including boundary demarcation and signage of the national park, prosecution of illegal logging and encroachment. Further progress in addressing threats to GLNP requires political recognition and support at the highest levels. Many threats are caused by factors outside the jurisdiction of the property; thus solving these issues requires cooperation between all national and local stakeholders. Higher level and more integrated inter-agency working is needed to address the need for relocation of displaced peoples, land-use management, local socio-economic development, and law enforcement.

 

Threats observed by the mission in Kerinci Seblat National Park (KSNP), related mainly to encroachment, illegal logging and road construction. Although all of the road construction projects have been halted, as reported by the 2007 mission, the 2009 mission observed that some forest roads are accessible by cars or motorcycles and have been extended locally, since 2008. The mission also came across evidence of very recent illegal logging and agricultural encroachments deep inside the property. As in the case for GLNP, these issues cannot be controlled by action only of the forest service, and therefore need stronger political support and commitment at all levels. Most of the pressures on the integrity of KSNP come from outside its boundaries, where the park authorities have no legal competence to intervene directly. The mission met local stakeholders at district level, who had a negative perception towards the property, and considered its presence impeded economic development. However, progress was noted by the mission where positive measures were taken to stop the expansion of encroached areas and to restore degraded forests. Local NGOs, committed to wildlife research and monitoring, and forest restoration and the promotion of alternative livelihoods are also actively involved in KSNP. The mission also identified traffic on existing public roads having a negative impact on wildlife and affecting the connectivity between the Southern and the Northern parts of KSNP. The mission concludes that amongst the three cluster sites, KSNP is the most exposed to external pressures and threats.

 

The 2009 mission assessed changes to the state of conservation of Bukit Barisan National Park (BBNP) with difficulty as it was not visited by the mission in 2007. The 2009 mission was impressed by the high degree of integrity of the Southern part of this cluster. In contrast, large areas located in the North-Eastern part of BBNP have heavily suffered from encroachment and the mission considered that these areas no longer have Outstanding Universal Value. The mission noted that this situation already partly existed at the time of the inscription of the property, and considered that there are areas that should not have been included in the property at that time and should now be excised from the property, especially noting that the conditions in these areas have continued to deteriorate since inscription. The mission also concluded that the State party should be urged to propose the nomination of a buffer zone to secure the proper conservation of the property. The mission considered that this could include areas situated outside the property and that such a status might also be an appropriate solution for the areas inside the property, where the conditions of integrity are not fulfilled as noted above.

 

The 2009 mission noted some progress in addressing illegal logging, road construction, as well as in implementing the Emergency action plan, experimental restoration of degraded forests and improving boundary demarcation and signage of the property. The mission was impressed by the work done by the park authorities in cooperation with local NGOs and other stakeholders, to conserve the wildlife and promote local sustainable development. Despite these improvements, the property continues to face severe threats to the values for which it was inscribed; it remains under heavy pressure from encroachment that continues to expand along most of the perimeter of the property. A scientific restoration plan of degraded areas is required and should be coordinated at national level. Furthermore, improved monitoring of the integrity of the property in relation to wildlife values, encroachment, logging and invasive species, is needed and should be integrated with monitoring for all the three components of the property and designed at the scale of the entire property allow long-term monitoring. Key aspects of the Emergency action plan drawn up by the State Party remain to be completed. The 2009 mission highlights the need for higher level and more integrated approach to addressing the threats to the property and illegal activities that are not being controlled adequately. The key points of action recommended by the mission are summarized in the draft decision below.

 

The 2009 mission again considered the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger. It concluded that the level of threats to the Outstanding Universal Value and integrity of the property remain critical. It also noted the strong opinion of the State Party expressed to the mission that inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger would create a negative perception and could hinder efforts to restore the integrity and effective protection and management of the property. The mission considered on balance that the benefits of inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger were outweighed by the possibility that such inscription could reduce political will to act in relation to the conservation concerns facing the property.

 

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that there has been some progress in some aspects of the management of the property, but that critical issues of encroachment continue and represent a clear danger to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN also note with concern the lack of integration between the components of the property and that no comprehensive state of conservation report, including all three components of the property, is available. IUCN notes with only 10% of Sumatra’s natural forest ecosystem remaining, and the majority of this now found predominantly within the property, failure to protect its Outstanding Universal Value and integrity will lead to permanent fragmentation of the habitats of the key species within the property including the Sumatran tiger, rhino, orangutan and elephant.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that is the third monitoring mission to visit the property in the four years since its inscription on the World Heritage List, and that each mission has confirmed the assessment of IUCN at the time of inscription that the levels of threats to the property meet the requirements for inclusion of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Based on the State Party’s view to the mission regarding the List of World Heritage in Danger, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN regret that the State Party continues to regard the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger as a criticism, rather than a means to strengthen international support for the property, as intended within the Convention. In the present situation, and based on the findings of the three missions that have taken place to the property, the World Heritage Centre and IUCN consider that the conditions for the property to be inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger are clearly met, as a means to promote and assist the immediate action required by the State Party in order to respond to the issues of concern. The World Heritage Centre has written to the State Party to express this view and to also emphasize the positive intended role of the List of World Heritage in Danger to assist properties in addressing critical threats to their Outstanding Universal Value and integrity. The findings of the 2009 mission would provide a basis for the definition of the required corrective measures and the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN consider that additional support should be provided to assist the State Party to follow up on the recommendations of the 2009 mission, and that close attention should be paid to this matter by the World Heritage Centre and the regional office of UNESCO. The State Party should also be invited and supported to submit a request for international assistance, to support the implementation of the Committee’s recommendations. IUCN considers that this could most effectively be done within the application of a management effectiveness assessment process such as that of the UNESCO/IUCN/UNF Enhancing Our Heritage project.

 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2009
33 COM 7B.15
Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Indonesia) (N 1167)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 7B.14, adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008),

3. Notes that substantial progress has been made by the State Party in implementing the Emergency Action Plan, to improve the management of the property and address illegal logging and other illegal activities;

4. Notes with extreme concern that the property continues to face heavy pressure from illegal activities, including encroachment, which are a major threat to the integrity of the property, as confirmed by three monitoring missions since 2004;

5. Calls upon the State Party to take decisive action to secure the conservation of the property, including the demonstration of support from the highest national political level and from the World Heritage National Working Group, to achieve the actions needed to address the severe threats in the property;

6. Requests the State Party to strengthen its efforts to implement the Emergency Action Plan and to involve all relevant ministries and other stakeholders at both national and local levels;

7. Urges the State Party to update and further detail the Emergency Action Plan, to extend the timeframe to ten years and to address the following issues in particular:

a) Establish an effective and prioritised monitoring system to assess the status and trends of key factors affecting the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, including wildlife populations, invasive species, deforestation, poaching, wildlife trade and any observed climate change and other environmental phenomena in all components of the property. This system should, as a priority, map in detail and monitor the encroachments in and around the property and assess their changes and impacts since the inscription of the property,

b) Assess the feasibility to relocate and restore endangered species such as tiger and rhinoceros, following the relevant IUCN advice and guidelines, in cooperation with the relevant IUCN species specialist groups,

c) Improve coordination with socio-economic development programmes and institutions to promote sustainable socio-economic activities in and around the property and ensure that they are fully compatible with maintaining the Outstanding Universal Value of the property,

d) Close all illegal roads and develop appropriate regulations and infrastructure on existing legal public roads to reduce the negative impacts of traffic on wildlife and to ensure ecological connectivity,

e) Note that the establishment of new provinces, districts and sub-districts in the property may add to the complexity of its management and increase threats from development,

f) Support and strengthen the human resource capacities of the National Park Service of the property, in the field of social science and resource economy,

g) Provide law enforcement agencies with adequate resources for expanding their law enforcement activities to encroachment and poaching,

h) Develop and implement an ecosystem-based restoration plan of the degraded forests in the property and neighbouring landscape,

i) Consider establishing an appropriate buffer zone or other measures to secure the conservation of the property;

8. Takes note of the recommendations made by the current and previous reactive monitoring missions (2006, 2007, 2009), to consider the extension of the property by including habitats considered as critical for the key species of the property, and also takes note that the 2009 mission concludes that there are some areas in the property that do not have Outstanding Universal Value and recommends that the State Party in cooperation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN submit a proposal to the World Heritage Committee for significant modifications with adjusted boundaries to reflect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

9. Invites the State Party to submit an International Assistance request to obtain support for the implementation of the above recommendations, and also requests the World Heritage Centre to support the State Party in the elaboration of such a submission if requested;

10. Further requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN mission to the property in 2011 to assess the progress made in the implementation of the measures noted above;

11. Requests furthermorethe State Party to urgently develop and submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2010 for consideration by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010;

a) in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies, a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value; and

b) a comprehensive report demonstrating how the State Party is addressing the Emergency Action Plan;

12. Noting, in the absence of substantial demonstrated progress, the likely inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010,

13. Taking note of the efforts that have been made by the State Party in order to protect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, encourages the State Party to continue with those efforts in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies as well as with the support of the international community.

Draft Decision: 33 COM 7B.15

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 7B.14, adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008),

3. Notes that some progress has been made by the State Party in implementing the Emergency action plan, to improve the management of the property and address illegal logging and other illegal activities;

4. Notes with extreme concern that the property continues to face heavy pressure from illegal activities, including encroachment, which are a major threat to the integrity of the property, and which represent an ascertained danger to the property in relation to the provisions of paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines, as confirmed by three monitoring missions since 2004;

5. Calls upon the State Party to take decisive action to secure the conservation of the property, including the demonstration of support from the highest national political level and from the World Heritage National Working Group, to achieve the actions needed to address the severe threats in the property;

6. Requests the State Party to strengthen its efforts to implement the Emergency action plan and to involve all relevant ministries and other stakeholders at both national and local levels;

7. Urges the State Party to update and further detail the Emergency action plan, to extend the timeframe to ten years and to address the following issues in particular:

a) Establish an effective and prioritised monitoring system to assess the status and trends of key factors affecting the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, including wildlife populations, invasive species, deforestation, poaching, wildlife trade and any anticipated climate change impacts in all components of the property. This system should, as a priority, map in detail and monitor the encroachments in and around the property and assess their changes and impacts since the inscription of the property,

b) Assess the feasibility to relocate and restorate endangered species such as tiger and rhinoceros, following the relevant IUCN advice and guidelines, in cooperation with the relevant IUCN species specialist groups,

c) Improve coordination with socio-economic development programmes and institutions to promote sustainable socio-economic activities in and neighbouring the property and ensure that they are fully compatible with maintaining the Outstanding Universal Value and integrity of the property,

d) Close and remove all illegal roads and develop appropriate regulations and infrastructure on existing legal public roads to reduce the negative impacts of traffic on wildlife and to ensure ecological connectivity,

e) Halt the establishment of new provinces, districts and sub-districts in the property in the property, which add to the complexity of its management and increase threats from development,

f) Support and strengthen the human resource capacities of the NPS situated in the Property, in the field of social science and resource economy,

g) Provide law enforcement agencies with adequate resources for expanding their law enforcement activities to encroachment and poaching,

h) Develop and implement an ecosystem-based restoration plan of the degraded forests in the property and neighbouring landscape,

i) Establish an appropriate buffer zone to secure the conservation of the property;

8. Takes note of the recommendations made by the current and previous reactive monitoring missions (2006, 2007, 2009), to consider the extension of the property by including habitats considered as critical for the key species of the property, and also takes note that the 2009 mission concludes that there are some areas in the property that do not have Outstanding Universal Value;

9. Invites the State Party to submit an International Assistance Request to provide support for the implementation of the above recommendations, and also requests the World Heritage Centre to support the State Party in the elaboration of such a submission if requested;

10. Further requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN mission to the property in 2011 to assess the progress made in the implementation of the measures noted above;

11. Decides to inscribe the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Indonesia) on the List of World Heritage in Danger;

12. Requests furthermore the State Party to develop, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, a draft Statement of Outstanding Universal Value including the conditions of integrity, a proposal for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger and the relevant corrective measures, based on the findings of the 2009 and previous reactive monitoring missions to the property, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010;

13. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2010, a report on the state of conservation of the property and on the steps taken to implement the recommendations of the 2009 UNESCO / IUCN Centre mission and the further concerns raised above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010. 

Report year: 2009
Indonesia
Date of Inscription: 2004
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(ix)(x)
Danger List (dates): 2011-present
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 33COM (2009)
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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