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   Phnom Penh (sat) – The World Heritage Committee on Tuesday decided to list the World Heritage East Rennell of the Solomon Island group „in danger“ due to logging, the invasive black ship rat, but also climate change. 

   The southern third of Rennell Island, the Island group’s southernmost island in the western Pacific, is the largest raised coral atoll in the world. Rennell is known for its Lake Tegano, which was the former lagoon on the atoll, and is mostly covered with dense forest. Climate change, in the past, has led to extensive damage to forests. 

   The committee decided to change the island’s status to improve legislation, management planning and administration of the property.   It decided to allow the country to conduct a study on the impact of logging activities in Rendall, before demanding an immediate ban on all commercial logging operations. Furthermore, the island needs „to develop and implement an Emergency Action Plan with in-country and international donor support,“ according to the decision.  

   A representative of Salomon Island thanked the committee for its committment and said it would „not be an easy task“ to resolve the threats for the island’s nature. „We have limited control on how investors use their resources,“ she added. 

   The World Heritage Committee consists of 21 member countries, which debate about the list of world heritages and consider the inscription of new sites. Among the 38 World Heritages in danger are the Everglades National park in Florida and the Old City of Jerusalem. The committee will debate the listing of 30 cultural and natural sites like volcano Etna in Italy until Sunday.