Decision : 32 COM 8B.27
Examination of nomination of natural, mixed and cultural proprerties to the World Heritage List - Chief Roi Mata's Domain (VANUATU)
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Documents WHC-08/32.COM/8B and WHC-08/32.COM/INF.8B1,
2. Inscribes Chief Roi Mata's Domain, Vanuatu, on the World Heritage List as a continuing cultural landscape on the basis of criteria (iii), (v) and (vi);
3. Adopts the following Statement of Outstanding Universal Value:
The continuing cultural landscape of Chief Roi Mata's domain, Vanuatu, has Outstanding Universal Value as an outstanding example of a landscape representative of Pacific chiefly systems. This is reflected in the interaction of people with their environment over time in respecting the tangible remains associated with Roi Mata and being guided by the spiritual and moral legacy of his social reforms. The landscape reflects continuing Pacific chiefly systems and respect for this authority through tabu prohibitions on use of Roi Mata's residence and burial that have been observed for over 400 years and structured the local landscape and social practices. The landscape memorialises the deeds of Roi Mata who still lives for many people in contemporary Vanuatu as a source of power and inspiration.
Criterion (iii): Chief Roi Mata's Domain is a continuing cultural landscape reflecting the way chiefs derive their authority from previous title holders, and in particular how the tabu prohibitions on the use of Roi Mata's residence and burial site have been observed for 400 years and continue to structure the local landscape and social practices.
Criterion (v): Chief Roi Mata's Domain is an outstanding example of a landscape representative of Pacific chiefly systems and the connection between Pacific people and their environment over time reflected in respect for the tangible remains of the three key sites associated with Roi Mata, guided by the spiritual and moral legacy of his social reforms.
Criterion (vi): Chief Roi Mata's Domain still lives for many people in contemporary Vanuatu, as a source of power evident through the landscape and as an inspiration for people negotiating their lives.
The authenticity of Chief Roi Mata's Domain lies in the continuing association of the landscape with the oral traditions of Roi Mata, continuity of chiefly systems of authority and customary respect for the tangible remains of his life evident in the continuing tabu prohibitions on these places.
The legal protection of the nominated areas and their buffer zones are adequate. The overall management system for the property is adequate, involving both traditional management through the chiefly system and tabu prohibitions and government legislation for protection of the site. The management system involves the local community and government administrative bodies. The integrity of the site is thus maintained.
4. Recommends that the State Party give consideration to enlarging the buffer zone to include the full view shed from Artok Island including the ridge and peninsula near Tukutuku;
5. Requests the State Party to identify adequate resources for implementation of the Management and Tourism Plans.