Dissemination Workshop on Moving Forward in Conserving and Enhancing the Outstanding Universal Value of Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra

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Background
The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (TRHS) was designated as a Natural World Heritage site in 2004, in accordance to the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972), as a recognition of its unique natural beauty, significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of its ecosystems and the importance of its natural habitats for in situ conservation of threatened species, for present and future generations of all humanity.
The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra, covering approximately 2,500,000 ha across 7 provinces from northern to southern Sumatra, consists of 3 major national parks: Gunung Leuser, Kerinci Seblat and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Parks. TRHS presents exceptionally high and unique biodiversity; also important habitat for many endemic and the last habitat for critically endangered species, such as Sumatran orangutan, tiger, elephant and rhino. Since the TRHS constitutes one of the last and largest remnants of tropical rainforest in Indonesia and worldwide, enhancing the integrity of THRS and its protection is key for guaranteeing ecological services for people living in the area as well as for climatic regulations.
Under the World Heritage Committee’s (WHC) Decision 35 COM 7B.16, the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra was inscribed on the list of World Heritage in Danger in 2011, due to the long standing threats to the integrity of this site, which represent both a potential and ascertained danger to its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). One of the main threats to the integrity of the TRHS identified by the WHC and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is road construction inside the area. There is a growing awareness that road development in the conservation area has major environmental impacts, such as physical damage to the ecosystems, resettlement opportunity for large amounts of people, key-species habitat fragmentation and degradation, or demographic change in animal and human populations.
To overcome this threat and increase conservation efforts of the site, Indonesia finalized in 2013 the Corrective Measures, Emergency Action Plan and Desired State of Conservation for the Removal (DSOCR) of TRHS from the list of World Heritage in Danger. In order to implement the Corrective Measures, Indonesia has been requested to develop Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the cumulative effects of the road development plans in the TRHS.
The United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Office in Jakarta has coordinated the development of the SEA, as part of the efforts towards the removal of the TRHS from the World Heritage In Danger list. SEA is a tool for incorporating environmental considerations along with social and economic considerations into policies, plans, programmes and strategies. SEA has the advantage of assessing impacts at a landscape and regional scale before individual projects are decided upon; it is applied at the very earliest stages of decision making both to help formulate policies and programmes and to assess their potential development effectiveness and sustainability.
The recommendations provided in the SEA can be adopted to support the improvement of decision-making capacities at regional, provincial and national level on road development measures that maximizes the ecological integrity of the TRHS landscape while addressing the local development needs. The next step to be taken by decision-makers is expected to give example on how to confront the recurrent problem of improving access and communication for local communities without disrupting key conditions of ecosystems, species survival or having to go against the law. This will be part of the efforts to reconcile development needs with the protection of such internationally designated protected areas. It may serve in the future as a reference for the assessment of intervention in protected areas. The process of TRHS can be introduced as lessons learnt and replicated as best practices to the other World Heritage sites facing the same challenge.

Objectives
The workshop is organized in order to socialize the results of SEA to main stakeholders concerned with the planned road construction, as well as to facilitate discussion on how to improve transport access without disrupting the OUV of the TRHS. The workshop will also be a forum for stakeholders to voice their concerns and needs, as well as ideas on the approach to assist TRHS conservation. The specific objectives of the workshop are as follows:
1. To disseminate the results and recommendations of the SEA in TRHS to the wide audience of stakeholders.
2. To increase awareness of an integrated ecosystem approach to the sustainable development and conservation of a World Heritage property.
3. To receive inputs from main stakeholders on alternative options contributing to the sustainable development of local communities

Venue
The workshop will be held:

Date : Monday, 22 May 2017
Time : 08:30 – 13:00
Venue : Fairmont Hotel, Jl. Asia Afrika No. 8, Senayan – Jakarta 10270

Programme and Format of The Workshop
The event will be organized as a one-day workshop and will consist of an opening, presentations, panel discussion, and closing. The recent condition of TRHS area and global perspective on the environmental management will be presented to the participants, including presentations by key experts representatives from the Government of Indonesia and scientists, academia, NGO, as well as a highly interactive discussion component with the participants. Representatives of governments and organizations will be invited to share and exchange information on efforts to conserve and promote sustainable management of environment in TRHS.

List of Participants
The workshop will bring together approximately 100 participants, including various stakeholders and representatives of Governments, Academia, Non-Governmental Organizations, Civil Organizations, and local communities.

Documentation
Participants will be provided with background documents, the concept note and the programme of workshop in advance. A number of other relevant documents and materials (such as reports and books) will be also made available on UNESCO website before the workshop

Contact Person

Project Leader
Prof. Shahbaz Khan
s.khan[at]unesco.org

Focal Point:
Adhe L. Wulandari
Project Assistant
al.wulandari[at]unesco.org
Ph: (+6221) 7399818 (ext. 857)

Dinanti Erawati (Era)
Admin Assistant
d.erawati[at]unesco.org
Ph: (+6221) 7399818 (ext. 885)

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