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East Rennell

Solomon Islands
Factors affecting the property in 2015*
  • Changes to oceanic waters
  • Commercial hunting
  • Fishing/collecting aquatic resources
  • Forestry /wood production
  • Invasive/alien terrestrial species
  • Legal framework
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Mining
  • Storms
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Mining
  • Commercial fishing (issue resolved)
  • Logging
  • Invasive species
  • Over-exploitation of coconut crab and other marine resources
  • Legislation, management planning and administration of the property
Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger
  • Logging;
  • Invasive species;
  • Over-exploitation of coconut crab and other marine resources;
  • Climate change;
  • Legislation, management planning and administration of the property. 
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

In progress

Corrective Measures for the property

In progress

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
Not yet identified
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2015
Requests approved: 2 (from 2006-2012)
Total amount approved : 56,335 USD
Missions to the property until 2015**

March – April 2005: UNESCO/IUCN Monitoring mission; October 2012: IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

 

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2015

The State Party did not submit a report on the state of conservation of the property, as requested by the Committee at its 38th session (Doha, 2014).

The State Party requested IUCN’s Oceania Regional Office (ORO) for assistance in addressing the following points:

  • Facilitation of a consultative process towards the development of a management plan;
  • Legal analysis of the Forestry, Minerals, Environment, and Protected Areas Acts to see how the Minister of Environment can take decisions to suspend the logging and mining licenses on the island;
  • Development of the management plan for the property.

The World Heritage Marine Programme has funding available, provided by the Government of Flanders, to provide technical assistance to the State Party for the development of a proposal for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR). A joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN mission to perform this task is planned for autumn 2015. Furthermore, with the financial support by the UNESCO/Netherlands Funds-in-Trust, a technical assistance will be provided to the State Party by the International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage (HIST, China), a Category 2 Centre under the Auspices of UNESCO, to obtain satellite images to establish the current state of conservation of the forest areas, and to clarify the exact area of the property, including its constituent parts made up of lake, forest and marine areas. In the framework of this project, a stakeholders meeting is being prepared in Australia for summer 2015 in co-operation with the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage site. No updated information is available on other conservation issues, such as invasive species, over-exploitation of coconut crab and other marine resources and climate change. 

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2015

In the absence of a report on the state of conservation of the property, progress achieved by the State Party towards implementation of the Committee’s requests and the recommendations of the October 2012 reactive monitoring mission cannot be evaluated.

It is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the State Party to undertake rigorous Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for any plans for bauxite mining on West Rennell to demonstrate that they will not have an impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in conformity with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, and ensure due diligence to consultations with local communities.  Furthermore, consideration of bauxite mining license applications should be deferred until the new management plan has been approved and is being implemented.

The redrafting of the management plan for the property by the State Party, in cooperation with IUCN Oceania Regional Office (ORO), UNDP, the NGO Live & Learn, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) and the Rennel Provincial Government, and in close consultation with local communities is noted. The envisaged management plan would integrate the development needs of the local communities with the priorities of protecting the property.  It is understood that this is a delicate process, as it requires a series of consultations leading towards the finalization of the plan and its eventual integration into the budgetary process and prioritization of both the provincial and national budgetary allocations for 2015-2016. While noting the complexity of the process, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to expedite the completion and implementation of the revised management plan for the property, and to put in place interim measures to mitigate the impact of existing logging operations and halt new logging operations, until the new management plan has been approved and is being implemented.

As no information is available on other conservation issues, such as invasive species, over-exploitation of coconut crab and other marine resources and climate change, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate its previous requests regarding these issues.

It is finally recommended that the Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2015
39 COM 7A.16
East Rennell (Solomon Islands) (N 854)
The World Heritage Committee,
  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.29, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Regrets that the State Party did not submit a report on the state of conservation of the property, as requested by the Committee in Decision 38 COM 7A.29;
  4. Notes that the World Heritage Centre has the resources to assist with the development of a proposal for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and encourages the State Party to invite an Advisory mission in the autumn of 2015 to perform this task;
  5. Reiterates its requests to the State Party to:
    1. Undertake rigorous Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for any plans for bauxite mining on West Rennell to demonstrate that they will not have an impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in conformity with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, and to defer consideration of bauxite mining license applications until the new management plan has been approved and is being implemented;
    2. Put in place interim measures to mitigate the impact of existing logging operations and halt new logging operations until the new management plan has been approved and is being implemented;
    3. Undertake urgent action to halt the further spread of rats on Rennell Island and prevent them from entering the property, to put in place the biosecurity controls necessary to prevent further introductions of invasive species to the island, and apply for International Assistance to support this work;
  6. Urges the State Party to expedite the completion and implementation of the revised management plan for the property and requests the State Party to submit an electronic and three printed copies of the draft revised management plan to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN;
  7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  8. Decides to retain East Rennell (Solomon Islands) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
39 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of the World Heritage in Danger

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-15/39.COM/7A and WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 39 COM 7A.38)
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 39 COM 7A.39)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 39 COM 7A.18)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosi (Decision 39 COM 7A.44)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.1)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 39 COM 7A.45)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.2)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.3)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.4)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.5)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.6)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.7)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.8)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 39 COM 7A.24)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.10)
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 39 COM 7A.40)
  • Georgia, Historical Monuments of Mtskheta (Decision 39 COM 7A.41)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.20)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 39 COM 7A.15)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 39 COM 7A.25)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 39 COM 7A.26)
  • Jerusalem, Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 39 COM 7A.27)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 39 COM 7A.11)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 39 COM 7A.21)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 39 COM 7A.22)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 39 COM 7A.12)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 39 COM 7A.28)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 39 COM 7A.29)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 39 COM 7A.46)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 39 COM 7A.47)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.13)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 39 COM 7A.42)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 39 COM 7A.16)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 39 COM 7A.30)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 39 COM 7A.31)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 39 COM 7A.32)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 39 COM 7A.33)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 39 COM 7A.34)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 39 COM 7A.35)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 39 COM 7A.23)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 39 COM 7A.43)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 39 COM 7A.14)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 39 COM 7A.17)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 39 COM 7A.48)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 39 COM 7A.37)
Draft Decision: 39 COM 7A.16 

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7A.29, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Regrets that the State Party did not submit a report on the state of conservation of the property, as requested by the Committee in Decision 38 COM 7A.29;
  4. Notes that the World Heritage Centre has the resources to assist with the development of a proposal for the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) and encourages the State Party to invite an Advisory mission in the autumn of 2015 to perform this task;
  5. Reiterates its requests to the State Party to:
    1. Undertake rigorous Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for any plans for bauxite mining on West Rennell to demonstrate that they will not have an impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, in conformity with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, and to defer consideration of bauxite mining license applications until the new management plan has been approved and is being implemented;
    2. Put in place interim measures to mitigate the impact of existing logging operations and halt new logging operations until the new management plan has been approved and is being implemented;
    3. Undertake urgent action to halt the further spread of rats on Rennell Island and prevent them from entering the property, to put in place the biosecurity controls necessary to prevent further introductions of invasive species to the island, and apply for International Assistance to support this work;
  6. Urges the State Party to expedite the completion and implementation of the revised management plan for the property and requests the State Party to submit an electronic and three printed copies of the draft revised management plan to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN;
  7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, an updated report, including a 1-page executive summary, on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 40th session in 2016;
  8. Decides to retain East Rennell (Solomon Islands) on the List of World Heritage in Danger. 
Report year: 2015
Solomon Islands
Date of Inscription: 1998
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)
Danger List (dates): 2013-present
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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