Indonesia Promises to Restore Sumatra Rainforest

rainforest, Sumatra, Indonesia, environment

A crab-eating macaque howls at Gunung Leuser National Park, Sumatra. (Shutterstock/Anton Petrus)

The World Heritage Committee welcomes Indonesia’s efforts to restore tropical forests of Sumatra. The announcement was done by an Indonesian delegation during the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee, which ran from June 24 to July 4, in Manama, Bahrain.

“The Government of Indonesia is committed to restoring the degraded areas of the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (TRHS) through cooperation with local communities, local governments and other related parties.

The government reaffirms to not grant permits for geothermal exploration activities within TRHS area and take into account the environmental impacts of integrating conservation and regional development and intensify monitoring of key wildlife, “said the Indonesian Delegation at the 42nd Session of the World Heritage Committee held for two weeks in Manama, Bahrain, on 24 June – 4 July 2018.

Although the Committee decides to keep the TRHS in the List of World Heritage in Danger, the Committee and Advisory Bodies appreciate the commitment and efforts of Indonesia in implementing the recommendations of the Committee and the Advisory Board.

The TRHS has been on the list since eight years ago and the Government of Indonesia together with the Advisory Committee and Board have been working together to get the TRHS out of the list, including by inviting Reactive Monitoring Mission on April 2018 to assist in the monitoring and preparation of degraded area restoration strategies at TRHS. Many positive outcomes of Indonesia’s efforts are reflected in the Committee’s assessment. In addition, the Committee also provided recommendation of to-do actions, including continuance of the implementation of the Desired State of Conservation for the Removal (DSOCR) indicators, the boundaries of the TRHS area and the monitoring of key animals. 

Besides discussion on conservation of World Heritage listed sites, the Committee also talked about the nomination of 28 sites to become World Heritage, and the use of World Heritage Fund to assist the nomination process and the conservation of World Heritage sites. The Committee also discussed the efforts of States Parties as well as the WHC Secretariat in implementing the World Heritage Convention in 1972.

Indonesia has been a member of the Committee since 2015. In the 3rd year of membership in the Committee, Indonesia participated in the discussion on the conservation status of World Heritage sites, as well as new nominations to be included in the World Heritage List.

(Source: Embassy of Indonesia to UNESCO, Paris)