Indonesia is again honored in the international community. This time the honor came from the 43rd Session of the World Heritage Committee Meeting, which was held in Baku City, Azerbaijan. At the meeting, one of Indonesia’s tourist destinations was named the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, namely the Ombilin Sawahlunto Mine. The Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud) fought this recognition since 2016. Until finally, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) established Ombilin mining after the 43rd UNESCO World Heritage Committee at the Baku Congress Center, Azerbaijan, was held at Saturday (07/06/2019).
After being designated as a world cultural heritage by UNESCO, coal mines may no longer operate in the area. “There should be no more mining activities in the world cultural heritage area. This is one of the important points of the determination,” said West Sumatra Governor Irwan Prayitno who was contacted by Kompas.com on Monday (07/08/2019). Irwan said, before it was determined to be a world heritage, the area was once a coal mining site operated by PT Bukit Asam Ombilin. “However, PT BA’s mine has not been operating for a long time. What we fear is that there are still illegal miners,” Irwan said.
According to the Director of Heritage and Cultural Diplomacy of the Ministry of Education and Culture, Nadjamuddin Ramly, there are several criteria that make the Ombilin Sawahlunto Mine worthy of being a world heritage culture, including the existence of important exchanges in humanitarian values of all time or within the cultural sphere, in the development of architecture and technology, art monumental, city planning, and landscape design.
The uniqueness of the Ombilin mine shows that there is an exchange of information and local technology with European technology related to coal exploration in the late 19th century until the early 20th century in the world, especially in Southeast Asia. In addition, the ombilin mine is very suitable to be an extraordinary example of building types, architectural works, and a combination of technology or landscapes that illustrate important stages in human history.
“The uniqueness of the Ombilin coal mine in Sawahlunto shows an example of a series of technological combinations in a mining city landscape designed for efficiency since coal extraction, processing, and transportation, as shown in company organizations, division of labor, mining schools, and mining town planning inhabited by around 7,000 residents, “said Ndjamuddin.
He added, the submission of the initial draft nomination document with the proposed name change to ‘Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto’ to the UNESCO World Heritage Center was conducted on September 30, 2016. After repeated revisions, finally the final nomination text was sent at the end of January 2018.
The manuscript was finally declared complete and subsequently evaluated its feasibility to become a world heritage by ICOMOS which is the Advisory Board of the UNESCO World Heritage Center cultural category.
With this, Indonesia adds to the world’s contribution to the preservation of world culture, after Indonesia already had four world heritage natural categories namely Komodo National Park (1991), Lorentz National Park (1999), Sumatra Tropical Forest (2004), and Ujung Kulon National Park ( 1991). In addition, Indonesia has four world heritage cultural categories, namely Borobudur Temple (1991), Prambanan Temple (1991), Sangiran Site (1996), and Subak systems in Bali (2012).