Monday, February 28, 2011

Lorentz National Park Amazing World Heritage

Lorentz National Park is a beautiful and unique area rich of natural resources. Its Jaya Mountain top is the highest in South East Asia and is covered by glaciers. It is a place of alpin vegetation, rain forests, lowland, and mangrove forests along its coastal line. It is a home to hundreds of animal species like Tree Kangoroo, and endemic birds. It houses more than 24 different ecosystems and the largest tropical rain forest in Asia Pacific.

The Lorentz national park contains many unmapped, unexplored and original plants, animals and native cultural heritage. The mountainous area whose some mountain peaks are covered by snow, an amazing phenomenon happening near the equatorial line, also contains mineral deposits, and large-scale mining operations are active in the surroundings of the national park.

The Lorentz national Park also includes majority of Warim Papua area in Irian Jaya. Warim Block is rich of mineral resources, namely potential natural gas, oil, and prospective hydrocarbon. Based on seismic data, there are 13 prospects of hiydrocarbon totaling 2.135 MMBO and 4 prospects of significant resources, namely Cross Catalina (200 MMBO), Lorentz (640 MMBO), East Muras (210 MMBO), Steenkool (200 MMBO) that are located in the northwest of Warim Block.

Some criteria of considerations to award Lorentz National Park the status are as follow:
1.It houses major representaives of the earth’s history including the history of living creatures, significant geological processes continuously run thorugh the landform or other geomorphic and phisiographic forms: it is situated between two continents. It has complex geological sturucture with sontinuous mount formation
processes, big glaciation and expansion of coastal line that has produced lowlands. (World Heritage Committee).

Lorentz National Park has centre mountain chain up to 5,000 m above the sea level. It also has incredible snow-covered mountain top, ravines, steeply sloping riverbank or mountain sides. A number of caves in Lorentz’s highland store important fossils of ancient animal species as well as prehistoric lives. Its glaciers and landform, a witness of Pleistocene glacial period, the main stage of the earth’s history. The area also keeps fossil locations witnessing life evolution in New Guinea. (World Monitoring Center, 2001).

2. Lorentz National Park has prominent examples that represent significant ecological and biological processes continuously running throughout the earth’s ecosystem evolution, water, coastal and water areas, animal populations as well as plantations. ‘These processes create further stage of endemism.’(World Heritage Committee 1999).

3. Lorentz National Park contains superlative nature which is aesthetically important as well. One of its undisputed natural beauties is the huge, snowcovered Pleistoscene relics in its tropical area a globally superlative natural condition. The 3,000-meter high tropical glacial area contains moraine glacier and glacier valleys.


Lorentz National Park is the largest national park in Indonesia as well as in South-East Asia, covering an area of 2.505.600 square hectares. It inclueds a number of regencies in Indonesia’s easternmost province of Irian Jaya, namely Paniai, Fak fak, Jayawijaya, and Merauke regency.

The Lorentz National Park is located on Irian Jaya, the Indonesian half of the island of New Guinea. The altitudes in the park range from sea level to the 4,884m at the summit of Puncak Jaya, Indonesia’s highest mountain and one of three places in the world where glaciers still exist in the tropics . The Lorentz National Park lies within the Province of Irian Jaya, and the administrative districts of Jayawijaya, Paniai, Merauke (Southern Division), Fak-fak, Mimika and Enarotali. It stretches for over 150km, from the central cordillera mountains in the north to the Arafura Sea in the south.

The Lorentz National Park can be divided into two very distinct zones: the swampy lowlands and the high mountain area of the central cordillera. The central cordillera itself can be subdivided in the eastern part and the western part on the basis of geology and vegetation types, the north/south line at approximately Kwiyawagi village being the dividing line. The central mountain ranges are the southern portion of two colliding continental plates, which are causing the mountain range to rise.

The lowering and rising of the sea level during the glacial and inter-glacial periods of the Pleistocene, along with continuous activity in the mobile belt which characterizes the contact zone of the two colliding lithospheric plates, has continued to promote the great biodiversity of the island of New Guinea in general, and in the Lorentz area in particular. Large tracts of the mountain range, and especially the area formed by the traditional lands of the Amungme (or Amung) are rich in mineral deposits especially gold and copper.


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