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East Rennell

Solomon Islands
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • Changes to oceanic waters
  • 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 (issue resolved)
  • Fishing/collecting aquatic resources (Over-exploitation of coconut crab and other marine resources)
  • Forestry/wood production (Commercial 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

Adopted; see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/6965

Corrective Measures for the property

Adopted; see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/7423

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

Adopted, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/7423

UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2021

Total amount granted: USD 56,689 UNESCO/Netherlands Funds-in-Trust (2015): Technical Support to East Rennell; USD 35,000, UNESCO/Flanders Funds-in-Trust (2015): Support to East Rennell; USD 38,398, UNESCO/Netherlands Funds-in-Trust (2019-present): Developing sustainable livelihoods in East Rennell

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 2 (from 2006-2012)
Total amount approved : 56,335 USD
Missions to the property until 2021**

March–April 2005: UNESCO/IUCN Monitoring mission; October 2012: IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission; November 2015: World Heritage Centre/IUCN Advisory mission; May 2019: joint World Heritage Centre/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 30 June 2020, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, followed by an update on 12 March 2021. Both are available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/854/documents/ and provide the following updates:

  • Two stakeholder dialogues were organized to discuss an update of the 2016 Cabinet Paper, the implementation of the recommendations of the 2019 Reactive Monitoring mission, and commitments from each stakeholder and each ministry. Limited capacity and budget were identified as main challenges;
  • Different views on the management of the property continue to exist among the customary landowners, including interests in commercial logging and mining. Logging and mining activities in West Rennell have negatively impacted the livelihoods of the communities in East Rennell. Community consultations are scheduled in 2021 with support from the UNESCO/Netherlands Funds-in-Trust (NFiT);
  • The logging concession in close proximity to the property ceased in December 2019. An assessment of potential residual environmental impacts by the Environment and Conservation Division was postponed to later in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • A proposed road construction within the property was approved by the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and a scoping study was undertaken in July 2020 by the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology to assess the need for a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Further government deliberations are ongoing;
  • The process to apply for National Protected Area status is yet to be initiated. The required Management Plan has not yet been finalized. The registration of lands under the Registration of Customary Lands Act is under discussion;
  • Tropical Cyclone Harold and prolonged heavy rain in 2020-2021 have severely impacted the food security of the communities through the disruption of farming activities and monthly shipping services from Honiara. The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock plans to strengthen food security based on traditional farming methods;
  • Mass mortality of flying foxes has been reported. The cause is yet unknown;
  • A livelihood and conservation project is currently under implementation with support from the UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP);
  • A three-year project to control invasive rats led by BirdLife International is also in the pipeline;

The State Party requested that the current timeframe to implement the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR) be extended to 2025, in view of the need for further mobilisation of international support and because of the delay with the implementation of activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 12 April and 10 May 2021, the World Heritage Centre sent letters to the State Party, following up on third-party information relating to the grounding of a barge that reportedly belongs to a logging company and relaying concerns regarding the customary governance of the property. The exact location of the grounding and its potential impacts are being verified with the State Party.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021

The State Party’s efforts to foster stakeholder dialogue to implement the recommendations of the 2019 Reactive Monitoring mission are welcomed and should be continued. While the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are acknowledged, the limited progress with the implementation of the corrective measures and other recommendations of the mission is of concern. Since the implementation depends on the allocation of budget through a new Cabinet Paper, it is recommended that the Committee reiterate its request to adopt, as a matter of urgency, this Cabinet Paper with the commitments and associated budgets of the respective ministries, to be reflected in the budget allocation for the following fiscal year. The establishment of a Cabinet Sub-Committee, as was recommended during the stakeholder dialogues, might help accelerate progress. The reported disagreement between the Lake Tegano World Heritage Site Association (LTWHSA) and Paramount Chief is a further source of concern as it directly impacts the set-up of a legal protection mechanism. All parties involved should be encouraged to develop a workable, long-term solution for the customary governance of the property. 

The continued efforts by customary landowners, local communities of East Rennell and the LTWHSA to safeguard the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property from destructive activities are appreciated. However, it remains of concern that interests in commercial logging and mining still exist among some landowners. In this regard, joint efforts by the State Party and LTWHSA to facilitate community dialogues to build consensus on the management of the property, including the development of sustainable livelihoods in the framework of the NFiT project, are welcomed, and it is recommended that the project be implemented as a matter of priority.  

While the need to improve the condition of the only road to the property is acknowledged, the proposal to develop a new road across the property is of great concern, not only in terms of its potential impacts to the OUV, but also because it would provide easier access for commercial logging in the absence of adequate legal protection. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to undertake a full EIA, including identification of alternative options with detailed maps, as a matter of urgency, in accordance with Paragraphs 118bis and 172 of the Operational Guidelines and in line with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, and to submit it to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN.

Food insecurity of the communities, caused by the prolonged heavy rain, is of great concern. The State Party should accelerate the implementation of the proposed assistance by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to strengthen food security as a matter of urgency.

The mass mortality of flying foxes, a species recognized as an attribute of the property’s OUV, and the grounding of another industrial boat that reportedly belongs to a logging company are both of great concern. It is recommended that the Committee urge the State Party to investigate these issues and to take measures to restore or prevent further negative impacts on the property’s OUV and local livelihoods. In view of multiple challenges faced by the local communities, whose wellbeing is a requisite for the safeguarding of the property, the State Party should be encouraged to mobilize more actively international support, including International Assistance.

Given the number of challenges that the property is facing, and since achieving the DSOCR will be challenging without substantial international support, it is recommended that the Committee extend the timeframe for the implementation of the DSOCR until 2025, as requested by the State Party, and retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7A.53
East Rennell (Solomon Islands) (N 854)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7A.2, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Welcomes the State Party’s efforts to foster stakeholder dialogue to implement the recommendations made by the 2019 Reactive Monitoring mission, and requests the State Party to continue these efforts;
  4. Expresses concern that little progress has been made to implement the mission’s recommendations; considers that the establishment of a Cabinet Sub-Committee dedicated to the property might help to accelerate progress; reiterates its request to the State Party to adopt, as a matter of urgency, a new Cabinet Paper with the commitments and associated budgets of the respective ministries reflected in the budget allocation for the next fiscal year; and urges all parties involved to develop a workable long-term solution for the customary governance of the property;
  5. Commends the continued efforts by customary landowners, local communities of East Rennell and the Lake Tegano World Heritage Site Association (LTWHSA) to safeguard the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, but also expresses concern that potential threats to the property’s OUV, and notably its integrity, arising from commercial logging and mining still exist in the absence of an adequate legal mechanism for the property,
  6. Notes with concern the proposed construction of a new road across the property, and also requests the State Party to undertake a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the road construction and for other planned developments before implementing the projects, in accordance with the Operational Guidelines and in line with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, and to submit a copy of the EIA to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN;
  7. Notes with great concern the reported food insecurity of the local communities following the prolonged heavy rains in 2020-2021, and further requests the State Party to accelerate the implementation of proposed assistance by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to strengthen the food security of the communities as a matter of urgency;
  8. Also notes with great concern the mass mortality of flying foxes, a species recognized as an attribute of the property’s OUV, and the grounding of an industrial barge inside the property, and also urges the State Party to urgently investigate both of these issues and to implement adequate measures to prevent any negative impact on the property’s OUV and local livelihoods;
  9. Also welcomes the implementation of a livelihood project in East Rennell with the support of the UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme, along with on-going efforts by the State Party and the LTWHSA to facilitate dialogues among community members to build consensus on the management of the property and develop sustainable livelihoods in the framework of a UNESCO/Netherlands Funds-in-Trust (NFiT) project, and encourages the State Party to implement the NFiT project as a matter of priority and to mobilize more actively international support, including through the International Assistance mechanism under the World Heritage Fund;
  10. Noting the State Party’s request for an additional four years to implement the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), decides to extend the timeframe to implement the DSOCR until 2025, yet further expresses concern that achieving full implementation of the DSOCR within this timeframe will continue to be challenging without international support, and calls upon the international community to provide the State Party with the necessary support;
  11. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, including a progress report of the implementation of the recommendations made by the 2019 Reactive Monitoring mission, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session;
  12. Also decides to retain East Rennell (Solomon Islands) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
44 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/21/44.COM/7A, WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add, WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add.2.Add),
  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 44 COM 7A.28)
  • Afghanistan, Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam (Decision 44 COM 7A.29)
  • Austria, Historic Centre of Vienna (Decision 44 COM 7A.32)
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of), City of Potosí (Decision 44 COM 7A.35)
  • Central African Republic, Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.39)
  • Côte d'Ivoire / Guinea, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.40)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Garamba National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.41)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.42)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Okapi Wildlife Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.43)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Virunga National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.45)
  • Egypt, Abu Mena (Decision 44 COM 7A.5)
  • Honduras, Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.55)
  • Indonesia, Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Decision 44 COM 7A.52)
  • Iraq, Ashur (Qal'at Sherqat) (Decision 44 COM 7A.6)
  • Iraq, Hatra (Decision 44 COM 7A.7)
  • Iraq, Samarra Archaeological City (Decision 44 COM 7A.8)
  • Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (Decision 44 COM 7A.10)
  • Kenya, Lake Turkana National Parks (Decision 44 COM 7A.47)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Cyrene (Decision 44 COM 7A.11)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna (Decision 44 COM 7A.12)
  • Libya, Archaeological Site of Sabratha (Decision 44 COM 7A.13)
  • Libya, Old Town of Ghadamès (Decision 44 COM 7A.14)
  • Libya, Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus (Decision 44 COM 7A.15)
  • Madagascar, Rainforests of the Atsinanana (Decision 44 COM 7A.48)
  • Mali, Old Towns of Djenné (Decision 44 COM 7A.1)
  • Mali, Timbuktu (Decision 44 COM 7A.2)
  • Mali, Tomb of Askia (Decision 44 COM 7A.3)
  • Mexico, Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California (Decision 44 COM 7B.56)
  • Micronesia (Federated States of), Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia (Decision 44 COM 7A.30)
  • Niger, Aïr and Ténéré Natural Reserves (Decision 44 COM 7A.49)
  • Palestine, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir (Decision 44 COM 7A.17)
  • Palestine, Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town (Decision 44 COM 7A.16)
  • Panama, Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo (Decision 44 COM 7A.36)
  • Peru, Chan Chan Archaelogical Zone (Decision 44 COM 7A.37)
  • Senegal, Niokolo-Koba National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.50)
  • Serbia, Medieval Monuments in Kosovo (Decision 44 COM 7A.33)
  • Solomon Islands, East Rennell (Decision 44 COM 7A.53)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Aleppo (Decision 44 COM 7A.18)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Bosra (Decision 44 COM 7A.19)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient City of Damascus (Decision 44 COM 7A.20)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (Decision 44 COM 7A.21)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (Decision 44 COM 7A.22)
  • Syrian Arab Republic, Site of Palmyra (Decision 44 COM 7A.23)
  • Uganda, Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi (Decision 44 COM 7A.4)
  • United Republic of Tanzania, Selous Game Reserve (Decision 44 COM 7A.51)
  • United States of America, Everglades National Park (Decision 44 COM 7A.54)
  • Uzbekistan, Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz (Decision 44 COM 7A.31)
  • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Coro and its Port (Decision 44 COM 7A.38)
  • Yemen, Historic Town of Zabid (Decision 44 COM 7A.25)
  • Yemen, Old City of Sana’a (Decision 44 COM 7A.26)
  • Yemen, Old Walled City of Shibam (Decision 44 COM 7A.27).
Draft Decision: 44 COM 7A.53

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7A.2, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Welcomes the State Party’s efforts to foster stakeholder dialogue to implement the recommendations made by the 2019 Reactive Monitoring mission, and requests the State Party to continue these efforts;
  4. Expresses concern that little progress has been made to implement the mission’s recommendations; considers that the establishment of a Cabinet Sub-Committee dedicated to the property might help to accelerate progress; reiterates its request to the State Party to adopt, as a matter of urgency, a new Cabinet Paper with the commitments and associated budgets of the respective ministries reflected in the budget allocation for the next fiscal year; and urges all parties involved to develop a workable long-term solution for the customary governance of the property;
  5. Commends the continued efforts by customary landowners, local communities of East Rennell and the Lake Tegano World Heritage Site Association (LTWHSA) to safeguard the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, but also expresses concern that potential threats to the property’s OUV, and notably its integrity, arising from commercial logging and mining still exist in the absence of an adequate legal mechanism for the property,
  6. Notes with concern the proposed construction of a new road across the property, and also requests the State Party to undertake a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the road construction and for other planned developments before implementing the projects, in accordance with the Operational Guidelines and in line with the IUCN World Heritage Advice Note on Environmental Assessment, and to submit a copy of the EIA to the World Heritage Centre for review by IUCN;
  7. Notes with great concern the reported food insecurity of the local communities following the prolonged heavy rains in 2020-2021, and further requests the State Party to accelerate the implementation of proposed assistance by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to strengthen the food security of the communities as a matter of urgency;
  8. Also notes with great concern the mass mortality of flying foxes, a species recognized as an attribute of the property’s OUV, and the grounding of an industrial barge inside the property, and also urges the State Party to urgently investigate both of these issues and to implement adequate measures to prevent any negative impact on the property’s OUV and local livelihoods;
  9. Also welcomes the implementation of a livelihood project in East Rennell with the support of the UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme, along with on-going efforts by the State Party and the LTWHSA to facilitate dialogues among community members to build consensus on the management of the property and develop sustainable livelihoods in the framework of a UNESCO/Netherlands Funds-in-Trust (NFiT) project, and encourages the State Party to implement the NFiT project as a matter of priority and to mobilize more actively international support, including through the International Assistance mechanism under the World Heritage Fund;
  10. Noting the State Party’s request for an additional four years to implement the Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), decides to extend the timeframe to implement the DSOCR until 2025, yet further expresses concern that achieving full implementation of the DSOCR within this timeframe will continue to be challenging without international support, and calls upon the international community to provide the State Party with the necessary support;
  11. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, including a progress report of the implementation of the recommendations made by the 2019 Reactive Monitoring mission, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session in 2022;
  12. Also decides to retain East Rennell (Solomon Islands) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
Report year: 2021
Solomon Islands
Date of Inscription: 1998
Category: Natural
Criteria: (ix)
Danger List (dates): 2013-present
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2020) .pdf
Initialy proposed for examination in 2020
arrow_circle_right 44COM (2021)
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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