1.         Henderson Island (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) (N 487)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1988

Criteria  (vii)(x)

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/487/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1990-1990)
Total amount approved: USD 8,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/487/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Absence of a Management Plan

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/487/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

At its 29th session (Durban, 2005) the Committee requested the State Party to provide a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property. In January 2007, the State Party submitted a brief report that presents the activities of the Management Committee for Henderson Island, established in 2004. The Management Committee is responsible for implementation of the 2004-2009 Management Plan and for reviewing the legal framework protecting the island. It has produced a brochure on Henderson Island which is available to yachts departing for Henderson Island from nearby ports. The brochure promotes Henderson Island as a World Heritage property, provides information for visitors, and advocates responsible tourism. The Management Committee has also produced a code of conduct for visitors, which restricts visitors to the beach area on the island.

The State Party also reported that the Overseas Territories Environment Programme scheme made funds available to develop an Environmental Strategy for the Pitcairn Islands which will take into account the specific needs of Henderson Island as a World Heritage property and will be used for future funding applications. Bids for funding are underway for bird monitoring and rat eradication. If the bid for the rat eradication scheme were to be successful the project would likely benefit Henderson Petrels and Gadfly Petrels.

IUCN and the World Heritage Centre note that it is not clear from the State Party report as to how the Management Plan has been implemented. The report does not provide information on progress for all objectives stated in the Management Plan, as presented to the Committee at its 29th session (Durban, 2005).

In particular, the State Party has not reported on the following aspects of the Management Plan:

a) 7.2 Alien fauna and flora

b) 7.3 Miro and Tou (sustainable use of timber)

c) 7.5 Turtle nesting beaches and the reef

d) 7.7 Extinctions, ex situ conservation and translocation

Regarding ‘Objective 7.1 Management’, it is not clear how the management has been carried out, how often the Management Committee meets, what activities have been undertaken, or what legislation has been reviewed. Regarding ‘Objective 7.4 Tourism’ and ‘Objective 7.8 Education’ no information has been presented on how many visitors have gone to Henderson Island or how many brochures were published and distributed.

Regarding the bids for funding IUCN has learnt that the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) prepared the project proposals for bird monitoring and rat eradication and that Henderson Island is explicitly excluded from the proposal to the Darwin Initiative for bird monitoring due to the high cost and lack of monitoring capacity within the Pitcairn Island community. RSPB is seeking separate ‘add-on’ funding to launch an expedition to Henderson Island but this funding has not yet been received. The second proposal is for a feasibility study for rat eradication, rather than rat eradication itself.

More information from the State Party is required on the implementation of the Management Plan, details of the Management Committee’s activities, and any monitoring taking place. This will help to assess if the outstanding universal value and integrity of the property are being maintained and if threats are being effectively monitored.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN


Decision Adopted: 31 COM 7B.34

The World Heritage Committee,

1.       Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2.       Recalling Decision 29 COM 7B.26, adopted at its 29th session (Durban, 2005),

3.       Regrets that the State Party did not provide the information on the implementation of the management plan required to assess the state of conservation of the property and as requested by the Committee at its 29th session (Durban, 2005), in particular on alien fauna and flora, sustainable use of timber, turtle nesting beaches and the reef, extinctions, ex situ conservation and translocation, visitor numbers and how site management is being implemented;

4.       Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2008 a detailed report on the state of conservation of the property, including on the status of all objectives of the management plan together with information on the status of the bids for funding for bird monitoring and rat eradication and a copy of the Environmental Strategy for the Pitcairn Islands when it is available, for examination by the Committee at its 32nd session in 2008.