1.         East Rennell (Solomon Islands) (N 854)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1998

Criteria  (ix)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2013-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

In progress

Corrective measures identified

In progress

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Not yet identified

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/854/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2006-2012)
Total amount approved: USD 56,335
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/854/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

March – April 2005: UNESCO/IUCN Monitoring mission; October 2012: IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/854/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

The State Party did not submit a report on the state of conservation of the property, as requested by the Committee at its 38th session (Doha, 2014).

The State Party requested IUCN’s Oceania Regional Office (ORO) for assistance in addressing the following points:

The World Heritage Marine Programme has funding available, provided by the Government of Flanders, to provide technical assistance to the State Party for the development of a proposal for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR). A joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN mission to perform this task is planned for autumn 2015. Furthermore, with the financial support by the UNESCO/Netherlands Funds-in-Trust, a technical assistance will be provided to the State Party by the International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage (HIST, China), a Category 2 Centre under the Auspices of UNESCO, to obtain satellite images to establish the current state of conservation of the forest areas, and to clarify the exact area of the property, including its constituent parts made up of lake, forest and marine areas. In the framework of this project, a stakeholders meeting is being prepared in Australia for summer 2015 in co-operation with the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage site. No updated information is available on other conservation issues, such as invasive species, over-exploitation of coconut crab and other marine resources and climate change. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

In the absence of a report on the state of conservation of the property, progress achieved by the State Party towards implementation of the Committee’s requests and the recommendations of the October 2012 reactive monitoring mission cannot be evaluated.

It is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the State Party to undertake rigorous Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for any plans for bauxite mining on West Rennell to demonstrate that they will not have an impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in conformity with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, and ensure due diligence to consultations with local communities.  Furthermore, consideration of bauxite mining license applications should be deferred until the new management plan has been approved and is being implemented.

The redrafting of the management plan for the property by the State Party, in cooperation with IUCN Oceania Regional Office (ORO), UNDP, the NGO Live & Learn, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) and the Rennel Provincial Government, and in close consultation with local communities is noted. The envisaged management plan would integrate the development needs of the local communities with the priorities of protecting the property.  It is understood that this is a delicate process, as it requires a series of consultations leading towards the finalization of the plan and its eventual integration into the budgetary process and prioritization of both the provincial and national budgetary allocations for 2015-2016. While noting the complexity of the process, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to expedite the completion and implementation of the revised management plan for the property, and to put in place interim measures to mitigate the impact of existing logging operations and halt new logging operations, until the new management plan has been approved and is being implemented.

As no information is available on other conservation issues, such as invasive species, over-exploitation of coconut crab and other marine resources and climate change, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate its previous requests regarding these issues.

It is finally recommended that the Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 39 COM 7A.16

The World Heritage Committee,
  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.29, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Regrets that the State Party did not submit a report on the state of conservation of the property, as requested by the Committee in Decision 38 COM 7A.29;
  4. Notes that the World Heritage Centre has the resources to assist with the development of a proposal for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and encourages the State Party to invite an Advisory mission in the autumn of 2015 to perform this task;
  5. Reiterates its requests to the State Party to:
    1. Undertake rigorous Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for any plans for bauxite mining on West Rennell to demonstrate that they will not have an impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in conformity with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, and to defer consideration of bauxite mining license applications until the new management plan has been approved and is being implemented;
    2. Put in place interim measures to mitigate the impact of existing logging operations and halt new logging operations until the new management plan has been approved and is being implemented;
    3. Undertake urgent action to halt the further spread of rats on Rennell Island and prevent them from entering the property, to put in place the biosecurity controls necessary to prevent further introductions of invasive species to the island, and apply for International Assistance to support this work;
  6. Urges the State Party to expedite the completion and implementation of the revised management plan for the property and requests the State Party to submit an electronic and three printed copies of the draft revised management plan to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN;
  7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  8. Decides to retain East Rennell (Solomon Islands) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 39 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-15/39.COM/7A and WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: