1.         East Rennell (Solomon Islands) (N 854)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1998

Criteria  (ix)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/854/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2006-2006)
Total amount approved: USD 26,350
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/854/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

Joint UNESCO/IUCN mission, 25 March to 12 April 2005.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/854/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

In March 2007, the State Party submitted a report and a copy of the Management Plan. The report provides information on the progress made in implementing the recommendations made by the Committee at its 29th session (Durban, 2005):

a) Finalisation of the World Heritage Protection Bill

Currently East Rennell is protected as a conservation area on customary land under customary law. It is not protected under national law, as there is no national legislation to designate protected areas. At the time of the inscription of the property on the World Heritage List, a draft World Heritage Protection Bill was outlined by an international consultant. In its report, the State Party reports that it lacks the funds and expertise to finalize the draft Bill and process for the formal adoption of this Bill.

b) Preparation of the Management Plan

The State Party received assistance from the World Heritage Fund to develop a management plan in 2006, which involved holding workshops on East Rennell. National and provincial representatives, as well as local communities including landowners and traditional leaders have now endorsed the Management Plan. However, during the process the State Party has identified a lack of appropriate protective legislation and capacity within the government to manage the property sustainably. Proposals have been developed to recruit technical advisors but the State Party has not yet obtained external funding to support such recruitment. The Management Plan identifies several potential threats to the property, which include mining, logging, over-exploitation of coconut crab, over-exploitation of marine resources, and invasive species. Although these do not appear to be occurring within the park, the property could still be affected by them. The Management Plan prepared by the State Party, in this respect, does not appear to contain specific management provisions to deal with these issues.

c) Supporting costumary owners in the management of the property:

The State Party has given the East Rennell World Heritage Site Trust Board (ERWHTB) the role of administration and management of the property. The organisation is broadening its constitution to include support for income-generation programmes and has agreed to appoint women in positions of leadership to make the organisation more representative.

d) Threats

The State Party’s efforts to improve the management of the site should be recognized. However, the lack of funding and technical expertise to implement the Management Plan, and of the necessary legislation to protect the property need to be addressed as soon as possible. It is suggested that the State Party establishes a budget and timeline for the implementation of the Management Plan and the development of relevant legislation. It is also suggested that the State Party apply for additional international assistance to support the implementation of these recommendations.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN

N/A

Decision Adopted: 31 COM 7B.21

The World Heritage Committee,

1.Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B,

2.Recalling Decision 29 COM 7B.10, adopted at its 29th session (Durban, 2005),

3.Welcomes that the State Party has produced a Management Plan and established a community organisation with the responsibility for the administration and management of the property;

4.Notes with concern that the draft World Heritage Protection Bill, to support the protection of the property as well as other potential World Heritage properties, has not yet been passed into legislation, and that additional financial and technical capacity are needed;

5.Requests the State Party to approve the World Heritage Protection Bill as soon as possible, and develop the Management Plan further by including:

     a)more specific management policies addressing threats such as mining, logging, over-exploitation of coconut crab, over-exploitation of marine resources, and invasive species; and

     b)budget and timeline for implementation;

6.Calls upon the international donor community to provide further financial and technical support for the conservation and management of the property;

7.Recommends the State Party to consider requesting International Assistance from the World Heritage Fund to implement the actions above-mentioned;

8.Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2009 a report on the state of conservation of the property and on progress in implementing the recommendations of the 2005 mission adopted by the Committee at its 29th session (Durban, 2005), including the timeline and budget for the Management Plan, and a copy of the World Heritage Protection Bill for examination by the Committee at its 33rd session in 2009.