Assistance to the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra

With more than one million hectares the Gunung Leuser National Park (GLNP) is one of the biggest national parks in Indonesia. It is a part of the "Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra" (TRHS) World Heritage site.

© UNESCO/ Alcoceba, Felipe

The Dangers

The unceasing illegal logging and agriculture encroachment are a serious threat. Following the earthquake and tsunami disaster on the 24 December 2004 new threads emerged, while the Indonesian conservation agencies have also been seriously impacted by this natural disaster.  


Since 2005, the Spanish government cooperates with UNESCO through a Fund-in-trust to preserve Indonesian Word Heritage and reduce damages related to Tsunami.

The Project

It is essential to have a global overview and assist both the National Parc and the Nature Conservation Agency Aceh (BKSDA-A) responsible for natural resources adjacent to the park. The project has five major components:

1. Assess the most critical needs and risks;

2. Rehabilitate the infrastructure destroyed by the tsunami and acquire new equipment to restore and re-establish effective ground presence;

3. Re-establish the management capacities to limit the threats;

4. Develop assessment and monitoring methods to mitigate post-tsunami threats;

5. Increase awareness of the population on the protection of the parc and its surrounding to maintain the biodiversity and the local economy of the Aceh region.  

© UNESCO/ Roger, Dominique

Concrete measures

The equipment and infrastructure needs have been identified and listed. Training on conflict management and community outreach has been conducted.  

Workshops, consultations, discussion groups resulted in setting up an Action Plan with a view to counter permanent threats of illegal logging, poaching and agricultural encroachment. This plan will be deployed in three of the tropical rainforest heritage sites in Sumatra. Mechanisms to monitor and control have been developed to check the efficiency of this plan.  

In order to raise public awareness of the value of the Gunung Leuser National Parc and to launch the Society of Indonesian Environmental Journalists, UNESCO supported a seminar attended by more than 50 journalists from all over Indonesia.  

Following Actions

Adequate equipment to enhance development and improve law enforcement will be provided. Innovative database system will be developed in order to improve management. The cooperation with local communities, local government and other stakeholders should be further enhanced. The staff and the parc management will be trained.

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