Monitoring Mission to East Rennell Completed

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A Joint Reactive Monitoring Mission to East Rennell World Heritage Site (ERWHS) has successfully completed their week-long assessment of the conservation program.

The assessment was undertaken and accomplished from 14th -18th May.

The team comprised of officers from World Heritage Centre of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Government representatives from Environment, Education Division, Government Communication Unit and Chair of Lake Tegano World Heritage Site Association.

During the week-long consultation, the team undertook:

  • Assess the current state of conservation of the property and the progress achieved towards combatting threats which include invasive species, bauxite mining and logging as well as other relevant conservation issues, including the most recent oil spill accident that occurred near the property, that may negatively impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property including its conditions of integrity and protection and management.
  • They 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.
  • 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;
  • Explore possible ways of developing sustainable livelihoods for the customary owners of the property, in consultation with the relevant stakeholders, and put forward recommendations to the World Heritage Committee and the international community.

The team started off by meeting with Bintan Mining Company operations manager for Rennell and tour the company’s rehabilitation nursery site.

For the next three four days they held meetings with villagers of Hutuna, Tegano, Niupani and Tevaitahe and with Tegano Council of Chiefs. They then hike up to the site’s sea boundary at Tuhugago. They also meet with neighbouring communities of the World Heritage program at Avatai.

Upon returning to Honiara on Monday 20th May, a briefing session was held at Ministry of Education conference room whereby they inform line of ministries and relevant stakeholders of the findings/conservation and management status of World Heritage Site.

They further discussed and confirm the mission recommendations which will be released by UNESCO sometimes on September.

Source: Government Communication Unit

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Lynda Wate
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