OIC’s Founding Director, Panut Hadiswoyo, spoke at the 41st Session of the World Heritage Committee in Krakow, Poland (4 July 2017). Representing NGOs working for the protection of Sumatra’s forests, Panut expressed the will to collaborative work with the Government of Indonesia to address major ongoing threats in Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (TRHS) and Leuser Ecosystem. Such as encroachment and illegal settlement, illegal logging, illegal wildlife poaching, roading, industrial destruction including ongoing proposals for geothermal plants and hydro dams. Important to notice that TRHS and Leuser Ecosystem is home to communities and unique wildlife and the last place on Earth where Orangutan, Rhino, Tiger, and Elephant live together in the wild.
At the same time, Panut emphasized the government’s responsibility for proper law enforcement, including prosecution of offenders. That also covers responsibility to stop any industrial development and encroachment within the property.
A solid statement that produced a clear outcome. The Committee decided to keep TRHS remain classified as ‘World Heritage in Danger”. In that way it is clear that stopping all current threats in TRHS and Leuser Ecosystem as well as continuous conservation is the only way to put it out of “danger”.