Geothermal Exploitation in a World Heritage Site: a Case Study of Gunung Leuser National Park

Marsudi Triatmodjo, Agustina Merdekawati, Sandy Nurvianto, Irkham Afnan Trisandi Hasibuan, I Gusti Putu Agung


Act No. 21/2014 on Geothermal Energy is considered a solution to the slow development of geothermal energy utilization for power plants by opening the way for exploitation in conservation forest areas. However, in practice, such exploitation is still constrained because it often clashes with the conservation interest. This study aims to review: (1) the role of Act No. 21/2014 as a legal justification to conduct geothermal power plant exploitation in Gunung Kembar and Gunung Waihlup within the core zone of Gunung Leuser National Park (GLNP), and (2) the potential impact of such exploitation on the international recognition of Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (TRHS) as a world heritage. This research is normative legal research, using secondary data consisting of primary and secondary legal materials, and employs a qualitative method to analyze the data. The results showed that Act No. 21/2014 could not justify geothermal exploitation activity within the core zone of GLNP. The study also concluded that the geothermal power plant activity is projected to have the potential to compromise TRHS recognition as a world heritage site.


geothermal power plant; Gunung Leuser National Park; tropical rainforest heritage of Sumatra

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