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East Rennell

Solomon Islands
Factors affecting the property in 2018*
  • 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 (Over-exploitation of coconut crab and other marine resources)
  • Forestry/wood production, Logging
  • Invasive/alien terrestrial species
  • Storms
  • Mining
  • Management systems/management plans (Management planning and administration of the property)
  • Legal framework (Legislation)
  • Commercial fishing (issue resolved) 
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
Corrective Measures for the property

Not yet identified

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures
Not yet identified
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2018

Total amount granted: USD 56,000, UNESCO/Netherlands Funds-in-Trust: Technical Support to East Rennell; USD 35,000, UNESCO/Flanders Funds-in-Trust: Support to East Rennell

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2018
Requests approved: 2 (from 2006-2012)
Total amount approved : 56,335 USD
Missions to the property until 2018**

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 2018

The State Party did not submit its report on the state of conservation of the property, as requested by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017).

On 3 May 2018, the World Heritage Centre received a letter from “the Tuhunui Tribe of East Rennell” (quote) noting that in its recent Council Meeting the Tuhunui Tribe decided to “withdraw all its customary land from the World Heritage Program Site in East Rennell”. The letter also states that all previous negotiations regarding the nomination of East Rennell and subsequently its World Heritage status “were made by community elected groups and not Tribes who owned the many land areas”. It further notes that it opposes the proposal by the Government of Solomon Islands to declare the area of the property as protected under the Protected Area Act 2010.

On 16 May 2018, the World Heritage Centre sent a letter to the State Party on this matter to request its comments. At the time of writing this document, the State Party had not yet responded to the request.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2018

In the absence of a report on the state of conservation of the property, the current situation at the property and the progress achieved by the State Party with the implementation of the Committee’s requests and towards achieving the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) cannot be evaluated. It is regrettable that in the absence of the report, no update is available on the results of the important national Round Table, which was organized by the State Party in August 2017 to discuss future strategies for the property with customary owners, land users and other stakeholders.

The petition submitted to the World Heritage Centre by the Tuhunui Tribe raises serious concerns on the practical modalities of customary ownership, management and decision-making. While the East Rennell Council of Chiefs, its Paramount Chief, and the Lake Tegano World Heritage Site Association have expressed their support to the World Heritage process, the letter from the Tuhunui Tribe indicates that there are opposing views among local and indigenous communities. It should be recalled that this natural property remains one of the few to be inscribed on the World Heritage List with a traditional customary governance system, and ensuring that the rights of customary land owners and land users are fully respected is therefore crucial for securing the long term conservation of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV).

One of the concerns of the customary land owners and land users is that few tangible socio-economic benefits have emerged from the 20-year World Heritage designation of East Rennell. The development of livelihoods for the local communities that derive benefits from the conservation of the property is a real priority. It is therefore recommended that the Committee encourage the State Party to seek technical and financial support to address this issue and call on the international donor community to support efforts in this regard.

According to a map annexed to the petition, the customary land of the Tuhunui Tribe comprises a significant percentage of the lands within the property. The petition states that the Tuhunui Tribe are opposed to the designation of East Rennell under the Protected Area Act 2010 – one of the measures proposed by the State Party to enable the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger, and reflected in the DSOCR as adopted by the Committee. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to understand the complex interplay of customary rights within the property, taking a facilitating role in the dialogue between and amongst different stakeholders/communities and to evaluate how the concerns expressed by customary land owners can be addressed, whilst fully respecting the right to self-determination. The mission would provide timely advice to the State Party regarding possible measures, which can be implemented in order to achieve the DSOCR, in close consultation with customary land-owners, and could follow up with international partners and ministries regarding the development of alternative livelihoods. The mission should also assess the current state of conservation of the property and the progress achieved in addressing threats identified in previous state of conservation reports, including invasive species, bauxite mining and logging.

In the absence of any information regarding progress achieved towards the DSOCR, it is recommended that the Committee retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2018
42 COM 7A.41
East Rennell (Solomon Islands) (N 854)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add2,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7A.19, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  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. Notes with utmost concern the letter submitted to the World Heritage Centre by the Tuhunui Tribe of East Rennell, raising serious concerns on the practical modalities of customary ownership, management and decision-making, and expressing their wish to “withdraw all its customary land from the World Heritage Program Site in East Rennell” in light of their concern that they are not benefiting from its World Heritage status, and their opposition to the property being declared under the Protected Area Act 2010;
  5. Considers that the long term conservation of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value can only be secured with the full consent of the customary land owners and land users in full respect of their rights;
  6. Also considers that the development of sustainable livelihoods for the local communities is of utmost importance, requests the State Party to seek technical and financial support to address this issue and calls upon the international community to support the State Party with this effort;
  7. Also requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property:
    1. to facilitate a dialogue between and amongst different stakeholders/communities and to evaluate how the concerns expressed by the customary land owners can be addressed, whilst fully respecting their right to self-determination,
    2. to provide advice to the State Party regarding possible measures which can be implemented in order to achieve the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), in close consultation with local communities and customary land owners,
    3. to assess the current state of conservation of the property and the progress achieved towards combatting threats identified in previous state of conservation reports, including invasive species, bauxite mining and logging;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2019, 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 43rd session in 2019;
  9. Decides to retain East Rennell (Solomon Islands) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
42 COM 8C.2
Update of the List of World Heritage in Danger (Retained Properties)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/18/42.COM/7A, WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add and WHC/18/42.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 42 COM 7A.1)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 42 COM 7A.2)
  • Austria, Historic Centre of Vienna (Decision 42 COM 7A.5)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 42 COM 7A.8)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.45)
  • Chile, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works (Decision 42 COM 7A.9)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 42 COM 7A.46)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.47)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.48)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 42 COM 7A.49)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Salonga National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.50)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.51)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 42 COM 7A.17)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 42 COM 7A.44)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 42 COM 7A.40)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 42 COM 7A.18)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 42 COM 7A.19)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 42 COM 7A.20)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 42 COM 7A.21)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 42 COM 7A.22)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 42 COM 7A.23)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 42 COM 7A.24)
  • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 42 COM 7A.25)
  • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 42 COM 7A.26)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 42 COM 7A.53)
  • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 42 COM 7A.13)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 42 COM 7A.14)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 42 COM 7A.15)
  • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 42 COM 7A.3)
  • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 42 COM 7A.54)
  • Palestine, Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem (Decision 42 COM 7A.27)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 42 COM 7A.29)
  • Palestine, Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town (Decision 42 COM 7A.28)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 42 COM 7A.10)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 42 COM 7A.11)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.55)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 42 COM 7A.6)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 42 COM 7A.41)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 42 COM 7A.30)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 42 COM 7A.31)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 42 COM 7A.32)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 42 COM 7A.33)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 42 COM 7A.34)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 42 COM 7A.35)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 42 COM 7A.16)
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City (Decision 42 COM 7A.7)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 42 COM 7A.56)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 42 COM 7A.42)
  • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 42 COM 7A.4)
  • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 42 COM 7A.12)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 42 COM 7A.37)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 42 COM 7A.38)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 42 COM 7A.39)
Draft Decision: 42 COM 7A.41

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7A.Add.2,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7A.19, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017),
  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. Notes with utmost concern the letter submitted to the World Heritage Centre by the Tuhunui Tribe of East Rennell, raising serious concerns on the practical modalities of customary ownership, management and decision-making, and expressing their wish to “withdraw all its customary land from the World Heritage Program Site in East Rennell” in light of their concern that they are not benefiting from its World Heritage status, and their opposition to the property being declared under the Protected Area Act 2010;
  5. Considers that the long term conservation of the property’s Outstanding Universal Value can only be secured with the full consent of the customary land owners and land users in full respect of their rights;
  6. Also considers that the development of sustainable livelihoods for the local communities is of utmost importance, requests the State Party to seek technical and financial support to address this issue and calls upon the international community to support the State Party with this effort;
  7. Also requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission to the property:
    1. to facilitate a dialogue between and amongst different stakeholders/communities and to evaluate how the concerns expressed by the customary land owners can be addressed, whilst fully respecting their right to self-determination,
    2. to provide advice to the State Party regarding possible measures which can be implemented in order to achieve the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), in close consultation with local communities and customary land owners,
    3. to assess the current state of conservation of the property and the progress achieved towards combatting threats identified in previous state of conservation reports, including invasive species, bauxite mining and logging;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2019, 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 43rd session in 2019;
  9. Decides to retain East Rennell (Solomon Islands) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2018
Solomon Islands
Date of Inscription: 1998
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)
Danger List (dates): 2013-present
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 42COM (2018)
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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