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Lorentz National Park

Indonesia
Factors affecting the property in 2008*
  • Civil unrest
  • Financial resources
  • Fishing/collecting aquatic resources
  • Housing
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Mining
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Mining;

b) Security limitations;

c) Development threats;

d) Exploitation of marine resources;

e) Absence of a co-ordinating agency;

f) Absence of a finalized strategic management plan;

g) Park boundaries not physically demarcated;

h) Inadequate financing. 

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2008
Requests approved: 2 (from 1996-2001)
Total amount approved : 41,400 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2008

The State Party submitted a report on 1 February 2008 on the management of the property, and the threats from the Lake Habema Road, mining, timber collection, poaching, and road construction. These issues were reviewed by a joint UNESCO / IUCN reactive monitoring mission, which visited the property from 26 March to 2 April 2008. The mission noted that although some earlier reported conservation issues have been either reduced (marine pollution) or are reportedly not currently active (illegal logging in swamp forests in Asmat region), serious threats to the outstanding universal values of Lorentz have increased markedly.

The mission identified three key issues requiring priority and immediate attention of the State Party: a) threats in the Lake Habema region; b) the functioning of the management agency; and c) Management of the southern lowlands region. The detailed recommendations and mission findings are available from https://whc.unesco.org/archive/2008

a) Threats in the Lake Habema region

The 2008 monitoring mission re-affirms the observations made in the 2004 mission report on the effects of threats to the property. Unauthorised road development in the Lake Habema glaciated landscape, under construction during the mission, is tangible evidence of the immediate threat now posed by a proposed major road construction programme in the alpine and montane regions of the property. The greatest potentially irreversible damage has been caused by the new road construction near Lake Habema and the disease driven forest die-back in the high altitude Gondwanan Nothofagus forest adjacent to the Lake Habema road. The new road construction has the potential to cause on-going impact as peatlands and a perched lagoon are eroded and drained. Only a substantial and rapid rehabilitation of the road will prevent on-going impact on fragile high-value natural heritage features.

The 2007 State Party report noted a “Study on the road development impact” and the 2008 State Party report noted that a draft executive summary has been produced and some consultation has taken place with stakeholders. However, the report and results of this impact study have not been provided to the World Heritage Centre or to the mission team, which learnt that there have been no pathogenic investigations of the Phytophthora disease as a possible cause of forest die-back. The evidence from the 2008 mission indicates that the die-back associated with roads is continuing to spread, killing the relict Nothofagus forest.

The lack of progress in implementing these two priority actions, the Lake Habema road construction and forest die-back research and management, raised by the World Heritage Committee each year since 2004 is regrettable and explains the concomitant increased threat to the property. The State Party report noted potential economic benefits of roads from potential increased tourism revenue and increasing access to economic activity for residents of the property. However, the negative impacts on the outstanding universal value and integrity of the property from habitat degradation, forest fires, illegal timber cutting and landslides and the additional threats of forest die-back, invasive species and potential for increased illegal activities noted previously by the World Heritage Committee and reaffirmed by the mission, outweigh such potential benefits.

b) Management agency functioning

The unauthorised road construction is also symptomatic of the apparent failure of the new management regime to effectively engage in on-ground protection of the property. The forest dieback in the high altitude Nothofagus cool temperate rainforests reported by the 2004 mission has not been further investigated and has been observed to have expanded since 2004. The integrity and outstanding universal value of the alpine and montane landscapes of the Lake Habema precinct continue to be significantly impacted in the absence of effective field management by the Park management agency (Balai Taman Nasional Lorentz). Unless there is immediate and significant improvement in field management performance of the park authority, important areas of “outstanding universal value will be (further) degraded or lost”.

The State Party has identified severe constraints to effective operation of the Park management including funding, limited monitoring and surveillance equipment, and limited staff capacity and technical expertise which deserves priority attention of the international community. The State Party reported that the budget for the Lorentz National Park Unit was only USD 710,000 in 2007, and not all activities planned were carried out. Further, the budget was to be increased to USD 1,000,000 in 2008, to cover salaries for 44 personnel (with the aim to increase this to 60 staff) and operating costs to manage more than 2 million hectares. The mission subsequently learned that all government programmes are to be reduced by some 30% in the next financial year.

c) Management of the Southern Lowlands Region

There are a variety of additional concerns and issues which have been raised in previous missions and still concern the effective management of the property including: boundary markings, lack of finality for the strategic plan, impacts of mining, invasive species (water hyacinth), and illegal fishing.

The boundary marking and mapping process is ongoing. The full extent of the park boundary has now been marked on the ground. However, the compilation map of the ground markers has not yet been completed and is expected to be completed later in 2008. The seaward boundary of the marine section remains unmarked and is a matter of concern.

The mission found no evidence of mine tailings entering or impacting on the marine section of the property, and considered that the monitoring programme maintained by Freeport Indonesia for periodically advising the Government agencies, including the Ministry of Forestry, represents a sound basis for the State Party to continue to monitor the situation in the property.

The Ministry of Forestry is encouraged to consider expanding the current monitoring in the marine part of the Lorentz property, in particular with regard to on-going discharge of effluents from mine tailings.

Given the immediacy of the road construction issue – one allegedly illegal road under construction at time of mission and many more planned – resolution of this serious threat to the alpine/montane section of the property is a matter of very high priority. Similarly, the related issue of forest die-back associated with roads needs to be dealt with concurrently and expeditiously.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that many threats are affecting the integrity of the property. While the outstanding universal value of the property is largely intact, unless a greater level of protection and management control is exercised in the immediate future, important vulnerable parts of the property could lose their integrity, and values could be seriously degraded or lost in the near future. Unless there is decisive management intervention in the immediate future, the current drift towards the whole property becoming threatened will continue. The World Heritage Centre and IUCN recommend that the potential inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger be considered in 2010, if the priority and urgent recommendations of the 2008 monitoring mission have not been fully implemented.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2008
32 COM 7B.15
Lorentz National Park (Indonesia) (N 955)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-08/32.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 29 COM 7B.3, adopted at its 29th session (Durban, 2005),

3. Notes with concern the extensive threats to the property in the Lake Habema and southern lowland regions and the inadequate functioning of the management agency;

4. Acknowledges the increased funding allocated to the property in 2008 as compared to 2007 and the cooperation with international partners to improve conservation; however, also notes with concern reports of projected future overall funding reductions from an already inadequate level of funding;

5. Calls upon the international community to continue to support the property and increase financial and technical assistance;

6. Urges the State Party to increase political, financial and technical support for the property; and to engage more closely with the Papua provincial government to ensure that adequate legal protection and financial support is accorded to the property for its effective management;

7. Requests the State Party to fully implement the recommendations of the 2008 Reactive Monitoring mission and to prioritise those which are most urgent, in particular:

a) address the threats in the Lake Habema Region of the property from road construction, forest die-back and illegal logging through the following activities:

i) cease road construction, rehabilitate recently constructed roads and mitigate impacts;

ii) engage with local and provincial governments to resolve the threat of road development and potential impacts arising from decentralisation of government;

iii) engage with all indigenous communities within the property to identify options for sustainable development;

iv) identify and control die-back disease threatening the Nothofagus forests in the Lake Habema region;

v) address illegal logging;

b) improve management agency functioning through the following activities:

i) finalise and implement the 2005 - 2010 (2007-2012) strategic plan;

ii) initiate consultation for strategic (precinct) planning of Lake Habema Region;

iii) seek external assistance for capacity building, technical assistance, equipment, and financing;

iv) increase capacity of staff through training and recruitment of technical experts;

v) survey and map ecosystems within alpine-montane landscapes in the property to improve basis of management;

vi) conduct independent technical and engineering assessment and design of road construction options in alpine-montane tract to minimise environmental impact;

c) improve management of the southern lowlands region through the following activities:

i) mark marine boundaries and promote awareness within Government and the fishing industry to halt illegal fishing;

ii) collaborate with appropriate agencies on law enforcement to effectively protect the marine environment;

iii) initiate a programme to control and prevent further spread of hyacinth into the property;

iv) develop liaison with Freeport for tracking of results of on-going monitoring of the impact of effluent discharge from mine tailings;

v) promote independent monitoring of marine portion of the property;

8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre a report, by 1 February 2010, on the state of conservation of the property, and progress on the implementation of recommendations of the 2008 monitoring mission, in particular on the cessation of damaging road construction, rehabilitation of existing roads, mitigation of impacts, and research into forest die-back, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010.

Draft Decision: 32 COM 7B.15

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-08/32.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 29 COM 7B.3, adopted at its 29th session (Durban, 2005),

3. Notes with concern the extensive threats to the property in the Lake Habema and southern lowland regions and the indadequate functioning of the management agency;

4. Acknowledges the increased funding allocated to the property in 2008 as compared to 2007 and the cooperation with international partners to improve conservation; however, also notes with concern reports of projected future overall funding reductions from an already inadequate level of funding;

5. Calls upon the international community to continue to support the property and increase financial and technical assistance;

6. Urges the State Party to increase political, financial and technical support for the property; and to engage more closely with the Papua provincial government to ensure that adequate legal protection and financial support is accorded to the property for its effective management;

7. Requests the State Party to fully implement the recommendations of the 2008 monitoring mission and to prioritise those which are most urgent, in particular:

a) Address the threats in the Lake Habema Region of the property from road construction, forest die-back and illegal logging through the following activities:  

(i) Cease road construction, rehabilitate recently constructed roads and mitigate impacts;

(ii) Engage with local and provincial governments to resolve the threat of road development and potential impacts arising from decentralisation of government;

(iii) Engage with all indigenous communities within the property to identify options for sustainable development;

(iv) Identify and control dieback disease threatening the Nothofagus forests in the Lake Habema region;

(v) Address illegal logging;

b) Improve management agency functioning through the following activities:

(i) Finalise and implement the 2005 – 2010 (2007-2012) strategic plan;

(ii) Initiate consultation for strategic (precinct) planning of Lake Habema Region;

(iii) Seek external assistance for capacity building, technical assistance, equipment, and financing;

(iv) Increase capacity of staff through training and recruitment of technical experts;

(v) Survey and map ecosystems within alpine-montane landscapes in the property to improve basis of management;

(vi) Conduct independent technical and engineering assessment and design of road construction options in alpine-montane tract to minimise environmental impact;

c) Improve management of the southern lowlands region through the following activities:

(i) Mark marine boundaries and promote awareness within Government and the fishing industry to halt illegal fishing;

(ii) Collaborate with appropriate agencies on law enforcement to effectively protect the marine environment;

(iii) Initiate a program to control and prevent further spread of hyacinth into the property;

(iv) Develop liaison with Freeport for tracking of results of on-going monitoring of the impact of effluent discharge from mine tailings;

(v) Promote independent monitoring of marine portion of the property;

8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre a report, by 1 February 2010, on the state of conservation of the property, and progress on the implementation of recommendations of the 2008 monitoring mission, in particular on the cessation of damaging road construction, rehabilitatation of existing roads, mitigation of impacts, and research into forest die-back, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010.

Report year: 2008
Indonesia
Date of Inscription: 1999
Category: Natural
Criteria: (viii)(ix)(x)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 32COM (2008)
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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