Facts and Data

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Sumatran Orangutans Face Extinction as Peace Comes
Tiger Bone Contraband Seized at Taiwan Airport

Basis Data:
Unesco World heritage since: 2004
Size of heritage: 2,595,124 ha

Longitude: 101,500°
Latitude: -1,500°


The 2.5 million hectare Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra site comprises three national parks: Gunung Leuser National Park, Kerinci Seblat National Park and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park. The site holds the greatest potential for long-term conservation of the distinctive and diverse biota of Sumatra, including many endangered species. The protected area is home to an estimated 10,000 plant species, including 17 endemic genera; more than 200 mammal species; and some 580 bird species of which 465 are resident and 21 are endemic. Of the mammal species, 22 are Asian, not found elsewhere in the archipelago and 15 are confined to the Indonesian region, including the endemic Sumatran orang-utan. The site also provides biogeographic evidence of the evolution of the island.

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The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra

The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the provinces of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, North Sumatra, Jambi, West Sumatra, South Sumatra, Bengkulu, and Lampung on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia. Covering an area of approximately 2.5 million hectares, this site is renowned for its exceptional biodiversity and unique ecosystems.


The history of the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra dates back thousands of years. The indigenous communities that have inhabited these rainforests for generations have developed a deep connection with the land and its resources. These communities have relied on the rainforest for their livelihoods, cultural practices, and spiritual beliefs.

In recent centuries, Sumatra has attracted the attention of various colonial powers due to its rich natural resources. The exploitation of timber, minerals, and other commodities has posed significant threats to the rainforest's integrity. However, the local communities and environmental activists have been actively advocating for the protection of this unique ecosystem.

Current State

The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra faces numerous challenges in the present day. Deforestation, illegal logging, and encroachment for agriculture and infrastructure development are the primary threats to this fragile ecosystem. These activities not only disrupt the delicate balance of the rainforest but also endanger the survival of numerous plant and animal species.

Efforts have been made to address these challenges and conserve the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra. The Indonesian government, in collaboration with international organizations and local communities, has implemented various conservation initiatives. These include the establishment of national parks, protected areas, and wildlife sanctuaries.

One of the most significant conservation areas within the site is the Gunung Leuser National Park. This park is home to critically endangered species such as the Sumatran orangutan, Sumatran tiger, and Sumatran rhinoceros. The park's management focuses on protecting these iconic species and their habitats, as well as promoting sustainable tourism and community engagement.

Despite these efforts, the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra continues to face significant challenges. The demand for natural resources, population growth, and inadequate law enforcement pose ongoing threats to the site's integrity. Continued collaboration between the government, local communities, and international organizations is crucial to ensure the long-term conservation of this unique World Heritage site.

In conclusion, the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra is a remarkable UNESCO World Heritage site that showcases the exceptional biodiversity and unique ecosystems of the island of Sumatra. Despite the challenges it faces, efforts are being made to protect and conserve this invaluable natural treasure for future generations.