The stakeholders consultation meeting on “East Rennell, World Heritage site in Danger (Solomon Islands)” will take place in Sanya (China) from 1 to 2 February 2016. The meeting is organized by the International Centre on Space Technology for Natural and Cultural Heritage (HIST) which is a Category 2 Centre under the auspices of UNESCO, and within the framework of the World Heritage Small Islands Developing States Programme (SIDS).
The World Heritage site of East Rennell has been inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger since 2013 due to logging that is affecting the ecosystem of the Solomon Islands’ World Heritage site and is threatening the outstanding universal value of East Rennell. Forests cover most of the land area of the 37,000-hectare site, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1998.
HIST conducts a time-series analysis of East Rennell’s forest cover for the period 1995-2015, and uses a full set of appropriate high resolution images for the whole of East Rennell of 2015 to establish baseline status for key parameters such as forest cover and land use in areas outside of the World Heritage site, for monitoring progress in the state of conservation of East Rennell island over the next 3-5 years.
The meeting aims to discuss the management and conservation of East Rennell World Heritage site and proposals for the future work plan with stakeholders from East Rennell, experts from HIST and international experts by using the outcomes of the satellite images’ analysis of the site.
The meeting is financially supported by the Netherlands Funds-in-Trust available at the World Heritage Centre.
The World Heritage Committee,
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7B,
2. Recalling Decision 36 COM 7B.15, adopted at its 36th session (Saint-Petersburg, 2012),
3. Commends the State Party for passing the Protected Areas Act 2010 and for drafting the 2009 Rennell-Bellona Province Lake Tegano Heritage Park Ordinance, and urges the State Party to apply both of these instruments to the East Rennell property as soon as possible to ensure full and strict legal protection of the property;
4. Reiterates its request to the State Party to immediately ban all commercial logging from East Rennell to avoid loss of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value;
5. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to urgently undertake an assessment of the impact of invasive species, especially of associated introduction of rats and invasive snails, to institute control and eradication measures as a matter of utmost priority, and to assess the feasibility of a long-term biosecurity programme to prevent reinvasion, and encourages the State Party to apply for International Assistance to support these actions;
6. Requests the State Party to address the over-exploitation of coconut crab and other marine resources and to apply harvesting regimes based on traditional resource management practices, and including the restrictions recommended by the mission;
7. Also requests the State Party to take full account of the impacts of climate change on the property and the livelihoods of the East Rennell community, and make provisions in the Management Plan for climate change adaptation and mitigation measures;
8. Further requests the State Party to undertake an assessment to ascertain whether on-going logging of forests in West Rennell could have severe adverse impacts on the forests within the property, the fact that the property is not strictly protected against logging, and the introduction of invasive species represent a clear ascertained and potential danger respectively to the ecological integrity of the property and its Outstanding Universal Value, in conformity with Paragraph 180 of the Operational Guidelines;
9. Decides to inscribe East Rennell (Solomon Islands) on the List of World Heritage in Danger;
10. Requests furthermore the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN and with both in-country and other international partners’ support, to develop and implement an Emergency Action Plan to remove the threats and provide support to the customary owners to enable them to protect the property to World Heritage standards and in accordance with traditional management practices;
11. Requests moreover the State Party, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN, to develop a proposal for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger and a set of corrective measures, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014;
12. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2014, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property, including a report on the progress made in the implementation of the above recommendations, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014.Read more about the decision