Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

3. Policies Regarding CONSERVATION of World Heritage Properties
3.5. Factors affecting properties
3.5.8. Social/cultural uses of heritage
6. Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES
6.4. Indigenous peoples

Case Law


Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee requests States Parties to strengthen the cooperation with local communities, civil society and in particular the indigenous communities, including consideration of traditional knowledge for the management of the property (based on Case law on decisions on the State of Conservation).
Date year: 2019 2012
See for examples Decisions (2)
Code: 43 COM 7A.2

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/19/43.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7A.41, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Commends the efforts made by customary landowners, local communities and the State Party to protect the property, in particular by not allowing commercial logging and mining within the property;
  4. Regrets however that a logging concession has been granted up to 200 meters from the boundary of the property without assessing the impacts on its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and before an understanding of the ecological connectivity between East and West Rennell is available, requests the State Party to submit an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for this project, and urges the State Party to closely monitor the situation, ensure that the boundary of the World Heritage property is clearly demarcated on the ground, and extend the buffer zone as new scientific information becomes available;
  5. Notes that the letter submitted to the World Heritage Centre on behalf of the Tuhunui Tribe of East Rennell in May 2018, indicating their wish to withdraw its customary land from the World Heritage property, has been revoked, and also notes the competing claims of customary rights among tribes and individual households;
  6. Welcomes the State Party’s effort to initiate dialogue with customary landowners and local communities concerning the 2010 Protected Areas Act, but also regrets that little progress has been made with the implementation of the commitments made by the State Party at the 2017 Round Table, including the finalization of a Management Plan, which was recommended by the Committee at the time of inscription in 1998, and also urges the State Party to include those commitments in the work plan and budget of relevant ministries;
  7. Adopts the following corrective measures and also requests the State Party to implement them, as a matter of urgency, to strengthen the protection of the OUV and integrity of the property while enhancing livelihoods of local communities:

    a) Adopt a new Cabinet Paper, prepared by the three Chairs of the 2017 Round Table, reconfirming the 2016 Cabinet Paper, reaffirming all Round Table Ministerial commitments for East Rennell and directing all ministries to provide a concrete timeline and budget for their implementation,

    b) Ensure that the Lake Tegano World Heritage Site Association (LTWHSA) can officially and immediately apply for National Protected Areas status for the World Heritage property in order to initiate the official consultation process by the Director of the Environment and Conservation Division, and to finalize the Management Plan (including zoning),

    c) Ensure that the World Heritage property is actively promoted, including on the website of the Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau and on all relevant maps and promotional leaflets, and immediately begin actively promoting appropriate tourism using existing accommodations and facilities; 

  8. Further requests the State Party to implement all other recommendations of the 2019 Reactive Monitoring mission, including:

    a) Clarify the consent provision of the 2010 Protected Areas Act, particularly what concerns the ‘interested parties’ who would need to be involved in the process,

    b) Provide the LTWHSA with the support needed to manage the World Heritage property to international standards,

    c) Improve access to the property for tourists and local communities and improve access to basic services and facilities, 

    d) Prioritize the development of sustainable livelihoods for the local communities, recognizing the important role played by women in East Rennell, including through a development plan, and seek technical and financial support from the international community for this effort,

    e) Ensure the Rennell-Bellona Constituency Development Fund reserves an allocation for East Rennell and its local communities,

    f) Develop a scientific research programme at Lake Tegano, seeking support from the international research community and also incorporating traditional ecological knowledge,

    g) Continue and expand the recently started bird monitoring program, and seek international support to mitigate the effects of invasive species, 

    h) Ensure that EIAs are carried out for all proposed developments within the property and its vicinity to guarantee that these do not have a negative impact on the OUV of the property, 

    i) Consider registering and surveying all lands under the Registration of Customary Lands Act, prioritizing the western shore of the lake, where most people live and where initial tourism lodges should be clustered,

    j) Record and map local culture, traditional and living knowledge, customary governance, genealogies and language of the East Rennell communities, 

    k) Consider assessing, in the 2020 state of conservation report, whether the current timeframe for implementing the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) is realistic;

  9. Notes with great satisfaction the substantial support that the States Parties of Australia and New Zealand provided to the Solomon Islands in an effort to prevent the Kangava Bay oil spill from reaching the property, and calls upon the ship owner and insurer of the MV Solomon Trader to cover all expenses of the ecological and socio-economical impacts;
  10. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2020, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 44th session in 2020;
  11. Decides to retain East Rennell (Solomon Islands) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Read more about the decision
Code: 36 COM 7B.25

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/7B.Add,

2.  Recalling Decisions 35 COM 7B.26, 33 COM 7B.27 and 32 COM 7B.22 adopted at its 35th (UNESCO, 2011), 33rd (Seville, 2009) and 32nd (Quebec City, 2008) sessions respectively,

3.  Takes note of the conclusion of the 2012 World Heritage Centre/IUCN monitoring mission that the Outstanding Universal Value of the property continues to be preserved, and welcomes the progress made in the implementation of the recommendations of the 2007 mission;

4.  Also takes note of the affirmation by the State Party that no official decision has been made on the Altai gas pipeline project and that such a decision will be based on an environmental impact assessment in accordance with the Russian legislation;

5.  Expresses its utmost concern that in spite of this affirmation, the pipeline developer Gazprom is conducting preparatory work on the pipeline route, including within the World Heritage property in violation of Russia’s protected area legislation;

6.  Reiterates that any decision to go forward with the gas pipeline project through the property would constitute a threat to its Outstanding Universal Value and represent a clear case for inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger;

7.  Urges the State Party to make an unequivocal decision to abandon the construction of the Altai gas pipeline through the property as requested in Decision 33 COM 7B.27, to ensure that no further preparatory works are undertaken within the property, and to ensure that the pipeline developer Gazprom considers alternative routes;

8.  Also urges the State Party to ensure that Environmental Impact Assessments are submitted to the World Heritage Centre for any infrastructure development in or around the property which could affect its Outstanding Universal Value, in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines

9.  Requests the State Party to continue its efforts to implement the recommendations of the 2007 monitoring mission as updated by the 2012 monitoring mission, in particular:

a)  Ensure the implementation of the 2009-2015 general management strategy for the property,

b)  Strengthen the management capacity of the Ukok Quiet Zone and Belugha Mountain Nature Parks in terms of staffing and budget,

c)  Ensure that the inspectors of the nature parks have the necessary legal authority to perform their protection mandate by making the necessary legal provisions at the level of the Altai Republic;

d)  Assess the impacts of grazing on the biodiversity in the traditional use zone of the Ukok Quiet Zone and develop a policy for the sustainable use of the natural resources in the traditional use zones in the property in close cooperation with the indigenous communities using these areas,

e)  Develop an overall strategy for sustainable tourism of the property, which could be the basis to set the policy for sustainable tourism at the level of the Altai Republic,

f)   Further strengthen the transboundary cooperation with Mongolia and China based on the experience with Kazakstan,

g)  Strengthen the cooperation with the civil society and in particular the indigenous communities, taking advantage of their knowledge relevant for the management of the property,

h)  Assess the cultural values of the property for its possible renomination under cultural criteria;

10.  Recommends that the State Party continue the process on extending the property, including key areas in Altai Republic, Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan;

11.  Also expresses its utmost concern about Federal Law No. 365-FZ dated 30 November 2011, which significantly weakens the protection status of Strict Nature Reserves and therefore could affect the Outstanding Universal Value of World Heritage properties in the Russian Federation and reiterates its request to the State Party to take appropriate legal measures to maintain a high level protection of the World Heritage properties on its territory, in accordance with Paragraph 15(f) of the Operational Guidelines;

12.  Also recommends that all legal issues concerning natural properties in the Russian Federation, which are composed of federal and regional protected areas, be addressed through a comprehensive  national legal framework for the protection and management of natural World Heritage properties in order to ensure the fulfilment of the State Party's obligations under the Convention, and also requests the State Party to convene a high-level workshop to assist in developing such a framework, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN;

13.  Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2013, a report on the state of conservation of the property, including an update on the status of the proposed pipeline, on the Environmental Impact Assessment process as well as on progress in the implementation of the 2012 monitoring mission recommendations, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 37th session in 2013.

Read more about the decision

Download Extract

The World Heritage Policy Compendium was elaborated thanks to the generous contribution of the Government of Australia.

The World Heritage Policy Compendium On-line tool was developed thanks to the generous contribution of the Government of Korea.

With the Support of