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  N/A

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

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2006-2006)
Total amount approved: USD 26,350
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 

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Mining;

b) Logging;

c) Over-exploitation of coconut crab and marine resources;

d) Invasive species. 

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

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2009

As noted previously by the World Heritage Committee the State Party has produced a management plan and established a community organisation with the responsibility for the administration and management of the property. East Rennell is protected as a conservation area on customary land under customary law, and is not protected under national law, as there is no national legislation to designate protected areas. A draft World Heritage Protection Bill was outlined by an international consultant at the time of inscription, and the State Party has reported that it lacks the funds and expertise to finalize the draft Bill. The World Heritage Committee also noted with concern that the draft World Heritage Protection Bill, to support the protection of the property as well as other potential World Heritage properties, has not yet been passed into legislation, and that additional financial and technical capacity are needed. It has called upon the international donor community to provide further financial and technical support for the conservation and management of the property, and recommended the State Party to consider requesting International Assistance from the World Heritage Fund to implement the actions necessary to secure the protection and management of the property.

The State Party had earlier also received assistance from the World Heritage Fund to develop a management plan in 2006. During the process of producing the plan, the State Party identified a lack of appropriate protective legislation and capacity within the government to manage the property sustainably. The management plan identifies several potential threats to the property, as noted above.

At the time of drafting of this report, the State Party had not submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 31st session. Information received by the World Heritage Centre and IUCN suggests that there has been more action and focus on the property over the last two years. It is understood that a new association to strengthen and implement World Heritage activities in relation to East Rennell has replaced two opposing East Rennell World Heritage Trust Boards. Two Australian NGOs (Live and Learn Environmental Education & Australian Volunteers International) are reported to have provided technical assistance to the State Party to hold eight public meetings and many other discussions across the four East Rennell villages, based on the East Rennell management plan. It is reported that four communities agreed to dissolve the two conflicting Boards, form an association and elect a new committee to represent the people of East Rennell. The States Parties of Australia and New Zealand are reported to have provided assistance to the property to support this activity.

IUCN also understands that the Live and Learn Environmental Education have placed two volunteers with the management authority to assist in capacity building, and that WWF has also received some support from Australia for a capacity building project related to communities, and working with the management board.

The World Heritage Centre and IUCN consider that the passing of the World Heritage Protection Bill into legislation remains a critical need for assuring long term conservation of the property. Although reports in the media are positive, no objective assessment of the state of conservation,Outstanding Universal Value and integrity of the property is possible 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 33 COM 7B.19

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 31 COM 7B.21, adopted at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007),

3. Regrets that the State Party did not submit a report on the state of conservation of the property, as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 31st session;

4. Notes the establishment of a single management association for the property, but expresses its concern that there is no confirmation about the finalisation of the World Heritage Protection Bill, nor up to date information on the other issues facing the property;

5. Reiterates its recommendation that the State Party seeks international assistance from the World Heritage Fund for the establishment of a more effective protection and management system for the property;

6. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by the 1 February 2010, a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property together with information on the status of the World Heritage Protection Bill and previous requests of the World Heritage Committee, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010.