The Jakarta Post
An orangutan in the wild forests of Sumatra. (Shutterstock/File)
The government continues its efforts to remove three Sumatran national parks from UNESCO's World Heritage in Danger list.
Environment and Forestry Ministry conservation areas director Heri Subagiadi said there were seven main criteria that had to be satisfied before the parks could be removed from the list, including key species population trends, road development, mining, law enforcement and landscape management.
The three parks are Mount Leuser National Park in Aceh and North Sumatra provinces, Kerinci Seblat National Park in West Sumatra, Jambi, Bengkulu and South Sumatra, and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park in Lampung and Bengkulu provinces.
Heri said the government had so far closed small illegal mines and oil palm plantations in the park areas, conducted integrated patrols and monitored the spread of key species. "Among the results are a decreasing number of hunts, investigations into criminal cases related to national parks and an increasing population of Sumatran tigers," he said as quoted by Antara news agency on Wednesday.
All three parks are part of the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra, which covers an area of more than 2.5 million hectares and is one of the largest conservation areas in Southeast Asia. Since being included on the World Heritage in Danger list in 2011, the government and UNESCO's world heritage committee have collaborated on conservation efforts in the form of a five-year action plan.
According to UNESCO, Sumatran tropical rainforests are home to 10,000 plant, 201 mammal and 580 bird species. They also serve as a habitat for mammals that needed a large exploration space, such as Sumatran tigers, orangutans, elephants and rhinos.
The three national parks were declared by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites in 2004. (mra/kes)
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