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World Heritage Site

Since 8 July 2008, parts of New Caledonia’s lagoons, reefs and mangroves have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  This serial site is made up of six marine clusters, including two in the South Province: the Grand Lagon Sud (Great Southern Lagoon) and the western coastal area, the Zone Côtière Ouest.  They are surrounded by “buffer zones” on land and at sea, which are not part of the UNESCO inscribed site but which constitute areas for maintaining vigilance in order to improve preservation. 

Designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a label of excellence.  It recognises this site’s exceptional universal value to the world as a whole, in terms of its beauty, good general state of health and diversity in underwater structures, formations and scenery and its wealth of marine species.  Inclusion on the list of World Heritage Sites does not make it a reserve. The activities practised there (fishing, tourism, and so on) can be continued provided they represent no threat to the inestimable value of the site.

In order to preserve this remarkable heritage for future generations to enjoy and experience too, participative management committees have been set up, site by site.  They bring together local people, individuals and organisations working there (fishermen, tourist operators, farmers, etc.), associations, traditional customary authorities and the municipalities or administrative districts (communes), and are responsible for devising and proposing a management plan for each site.

Information : Direction de l'Environnement de la Province Sud (DENV) (South Province Environmental Department) – 19, avenue Foch, Noumea – Tel.: 24 32 55