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East Rennell

Solomon Islands
Factors affecting the property in 2016*
  • 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
  • Changes to oceanic waters
  • Commercial hunting
  • Fishing/collecting aquatic resources
  • Forestry/wood production, Logging
  • Invasive/alien terrestrial species
  • Storms
  • Mining
  • Commercial fishing (issue resolved)
  • 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
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2016

Total amount granted: USD 56,000, Netherlands Funds-In-Trust: Technical Support to East Rennell

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2016
Requests approved: 2 (from 2006-2012)
Total amount approved : 56,335 USD
Missions to the property until 2016**

March – April 2005: UNESCO/IUCN Monitoring mission; October 2012: IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; November 2015: World Heritage Centre/IUCN Advisory mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

The State Party did not submit a report on the state of conservation of the property.  With the support of the Government of Flanders, a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Advisory mission visited the property in November 2015 and assisted the State Party with the development of the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR). While a proposal for the DSOCR was prepared in consultation with the local stakeholders and sent to the State Party for consideration, it was not officially submitted by the State Party and therefore is not presented for adoption by the World Heritage Committee. A copy of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for a bauxite mining project in West Rennell was received during the joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Advisory mission.

In February 2016, a technical workshop was organized by the International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage under the auspices of UNESCO (HIST, China) with financial support from the Netherlands Funds-In-Trust and with participation of the State Party representatives and the World Heritage Centre. The main objective of the meeting was to gather and analyse satellite images of Rennell Island to identify the changes in forest and vegetation cover within the property and on the entire Rennell Island.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2016

In the absence of a report on the state of conservation of the property, progress achieved by the State Party towards the implementation of the Committee’s requests and the recommendations of the 2012 Reactive Monitoring mission cannot be evaluated. It is therefore recommended that the Committee reiterate its requests to the State Party with regards to threats arising from logging and invasive species, as well as the revision of the management plan for the property.

It is noted that an EIA for one of the proposed bauxite mining projects has been provided to the Advisory mission in 2015. However, it should be recalled that the Committee requested the State Party to undertake EIAs for all plans for bauxite mining. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to provide detailed information on all proposed bauxite mining projects on Rennell Island, including the EIAs of each project, as well as an assessment of their potential cumulative impacts on the OUV of the property. It is further recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to the State Party to defer consideration of bauxite mining license applications until the new management plan for the property has been approved and is being implemented.

The technical workshop organised by HIST is welcomed and its conclusions are noted, in particular that unspoiled forest cover remains at 95% of land area within the property and at 90% in other parts of Rennell Island and that no logging has occurred within the property. The results obtained will enable the establishment of baseline data on forest and vegetation cover within the property which can be used to monitor this indicator in the future, including within the framework of the DSOCR. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to draw on the results of the Advisory mission and the technical workshop to finalize the DSOCR and to submit it to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, for adoption by the Committee at its 41st session.

It should be further noted that without a short-term development of alternative income generating mechanisms that derive benefits from the conservation of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), bauxite mining and selective logging will remain the most important potential sources of income for local communities on East Rennell. It is therefore recommended that the Committee recommend the State Party to develop an Action Plan which would prioritize alternative income generating mechanisms for local communities and to attract international partners and support to protect the OUV of the property.

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

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2016
40 COM 7A.49
East Rennell (Solomon Islands) (N 854)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add.2,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7A.16, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Regrets that the State Party did not submit a report on the state of conservation of the property, as requested by the Committee;
  4. Takes note that a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Advisory mission visited the property to meet the customary owners and to assist the State Party in the preparation of the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), but also regrets that the State Party did not submit a proposal for the DSOCR and requests the State Party to submit it by 1 February 2017, for adoption by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  5. Encourages the State Party to develop an Action Plan which would prioritize local communities and alternative income generating mechanisms that derive benefits from the conservation of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  6. Urges the State Party to expedite the completion and implementation of the revised Management Plan for the property and also 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. Further requests the State Party to provide detailed information on all proposed bauxite mining projects on Rennell Island, including the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) of each project, as well as an assessment of their potential cumulative impacts on the OUV of the property, in conformity with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment;
  8. Reiterates its requests to the State Party to:
    1. Defer consideration of bauxite mining license applications until the new management plan for the property 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;
  9. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, 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 41st session in 2017;
  10. Decides to retain East Rennell (Solomon Islands) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
40 COM 8C.2
Update of the list of World Heritage in Danger (retained sites)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/16/40.COM/7A, WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add and WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add.2),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger:
  • Afghanistan, Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley (Decision 40 COM 7A.26)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 40 COM 7A.27)
  • Belize, Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Decision 40 COM 7A.32)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 40 COM 7A.1)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.34)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 40 COM 7A.2)
  • Côte d'Ivoire, Comoé National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.35)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 40 COM 7A.36)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.37)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.38)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 40 COM 7A.39)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.40)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.41)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 40 COM 7A.9)
  • Ethiopia, Simien National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.43)
  • Georgia, Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (Decision 40 COM 7A.28)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 40 COM 7A.33)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 40 COM 7A.48)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 40 COM 7A.10)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 40 COM 7A.11)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 40 COM 7A.12)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 40 COM 7A.13)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 40 COM 7A.44)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 40 COM 7A.6)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 40 COM 7A.7)
  • Niger, Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 40 COM 7A.45)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 40 COM 7A.14)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 40 COM 7A.15)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 40 COM 7A.3)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 40 COM 7A.4)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.46)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 40 COM 7A. 30)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 40 COM 7A.49)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 40 COM 7A.16)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 40 COM 7A.17)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 40 COM 7A.18)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 40 COM 7A.19)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 40 COM 7A.20)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 40 COM 7A.21)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 40 COM 7A.8)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 40 COM 7A.31)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 40 COM 7A.47)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 40 COM 7A.50)
  • Venezuela, Coro and its Port (Decision 40 COM 7A.5)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 40 COM 7A.23)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 40 COM 7A.24)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 40 COM 7A.25).
Draft Decision: 40 COM 7A.49

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7A.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 39 COM 7A.16, adopted at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015),
  3. Regrets that the State Party did not submit a report on the state of conservation of the property, as requested by the Committee;
  4. Takes note that a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Advisory mission visited the property to meet the customary owners and to assist the State Party in the preparation of the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), but also regrets that the State Party did not submit a proposal for the DSOCR and requests the State Party to submit it by 1 February 2017, for adoption by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017;
  5. Encourages the State Party to develop an Action Plan which would prioritize local communities and alternative income generating mechanisms that derive benefits from the conservation of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  6. Urges the State Party to expedite the completion and implementation of the revised Management Plan for the property and also 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. Further requests the State Party to provide detailed information on all proposed bauxite mining projects on Rennell Island, including the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) of each project, as well as an assessment of their potential cumulative impacts on the OUV of the property, in conformity with IUCN’s World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment;
  8. Reiterates its requests to the State Party to:
    1. Defer consideration of bauxite mining license applications until the new management plan for the property 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;
  9. Requests furthermore the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2017, 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 41st session in 2017;
  10. Decides to retain East Rennell (Solomon Islands) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2016
Solomon Islands
Date of Inscription: 1998
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)
Danger List (dates): 2013-present
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 40COM (2016)
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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