Great South

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The Far South pilot site encompasses the land and sea at the New Caledonia’s southern tip, embracing the municipal areas of Mont Dore, Yate and Isle of Pines, and covering a surface area of 8418 sq. km, some 1400 sq. km of which is land. Only the coast is settled with a population of approximately 2000 spread across a dozen tribal areas. The Southern Province is responsible for managing the area’s environment, while the New Caledonia Government oversees the exclusive economic zone.

INTEGRE is part of this networking exercise and aims to provide support to the Southern Province and its partners in their efforts to promote and implement the integrated management provisions for this outstanding coastal area.

A regional methodology workshop was held in February 2014 with all project partners. A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportuni- ties and threats) analysis was carried out as the project’s evaluation and planning aid.

The SWOT analysis helped better define project strategy and align future activities. The following objectives were specifically appro- ved for the site project :

  • Strengthen participatory management by providing field facilitators to further the management committee and Southern Province’s initiatives.
  • Help reduce visitor pressure on marine and coastal areas.
  • Develop a strategic vision of the environment to introduce consistency to environmental policy on the main island’s southern tip.

 

Geography :

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Biodiversity :

From kagus to kauris through palm trees, humpback whales, humphead wrasse, nickel hyperaccumulator plants and flax snails, the Great Southern Lagoon’s biodiversity includes an assortment of iconic rare and endangered species. On mine scrubland, for example, the ende- mism rate can reach up to 90%. Because of this outstanding environmental value, the Great Southern Lagoon area has been identified as being of "universal conservation value”, as borne out when it was UNESCO World-Heritage-listed in 2008 and the "Plaine des lacs" area RAMSAR-listed in 2014 as wetlands of international importance. Within the Province, 19 marine reserves and 11 protected land areas, including the Blue River Provincial Park, have been set up and are managed by the Southern Province Department of the Environment.

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Economy :

The coastland and mountain areas host a wide range of economic activities. Mining is prominent with several nickel mines and orphan (disused) mines as well as large, coveted, but unmined, deposits. In and around Prony, there is the huge Vale New Caledonia industrial complex with a metal processing plant, international harbour and power station, as well as 1900 ha of active mines and a revegetation nursery producing 500,000 seedlings a year. The complex located 80 km from Noumea provides 3000 jobs, 1300 of which are direct, with many workers housed on site, plus 600 local sub-contractors.

There is considerable development potential for tourism. The Isle of Pines is a leading tourist destination in New Caledonia with 135,000 cruise-liner passengers visiting every year. Tourist spots on the main island’s southern tip, such as Blue River Provincial Park, whale watching and Cape N’Dua, attract 50,000, mainly local, visitors a year. Seasonal appearances of humpback whales in Prony Bay have generated a whale-watching industry that is becoming increasingly organised with its own whale-watching charter. While there is some commercial fishing, catching fish is more of a leisure activity and subsistence practice for people from the greater Noumea area and the coastal tribes. The pilot site is also home to a burgeoning forestry industry, low-key fish farming (one rabbitfish farm), very little market gardening, but relatively productive subsistence farming in the tribal areas.

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Environmental Pressure :

Several factors are a threat to environmental quality in the Great Southern Lagoon, including :

  • Mineral deposits that destroy biodiversity and fragment na- tural habitats when mined ;
  • Fire that also depletes soil biodiversity and causes fragmentation ;
  • Exotic invasive species that prey on and compete with indigenous biodiversity ;
  • Lagoon pollution from soil erosion on former mining and logging areas causing undue silting in the lagoon during heavy rainfall ;
  • Increased tourism and visitor traffic to certain sites placing heavy pressure on some resources, such as flax snails and fish, and leading to damage to landscapes and the environment and conflicts over uses with local communities.

Local Governance Arrangements :

In terms of site governance and management, a number of bodies have been set up. With the Great South Lagoon being UNESCO World-Heritage listed and a high-risk processing plant located there, lengthy local discussions were held to structure governance and strive towards the common objective of miti- gating impacts and developing the environment. As a result, an integrated management approach was adopted, driven by the Southern Province, harmonising the work of the various stakeholders and bodies, including the provincial, municipal and territorial departments, scientific experts, Environment Observatory (OEIL) and local communities.

They are as follows :

  • Three local management committees (LMCs), namely the Ouen island, Isle of Pines and Goro LMCs. A local management committee union was set up in 2011 to coordinate discussions for the whole far-southern area with environmental associations, industry federations, OEIL (environmental observatory) and mining companies playing a consultative role. The 2013-2017 site management plan was approved in 2013 ;
  • The Far South Sustainable Development Pact signed in 2008 by Vale New Caledonia and the local communities for a 30-year term requiring the mining company to develop and implement specific measures for assisting the sustainable development of the main island’s southern tip. It is managed by three bodies, namely the Vale Foundation, Traditional Leaders’ Environmental Consultative Committee (CCCE) and the reforestation association ;
  • The biodiversity protection agreement, signed in 2009 by the Southern Province and Vale that aims to prevent, mitigate and offset impacts on biodiversity on the main island’s southern tip ;
  • The Environmental Observatory (ŒIL), an association set up in 2009 to monitor the environment and regularly update decision-makers and the general public on its status.

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A regional methodology workshop was held in February 2014 with all project partners. A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportuni- ties and threats) analysis was carried out as the project’s evaluation and planning aid, as presented below :

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An action plan was developed to achieve the objectives based on three main activities.

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Activity 1: Strengthening participatory management in the Great Southern Lagoon

The aim is to make all three committees more effective in their operations, improve their ability to act and help them implement part of the Great Southern Lagoon management plan. Two facilitators were hired and will be working throughout INTEGRE’s term. Funding was also allocated to develop the concrete activities that they initiate, such as building a native-species nursery for replanting operations and eradicating the Caribbean pine, an invasive species

Provisional Amount : XPF 27.8 million/ € 231 288

Operators : Southern Province and Isle of Pines, Goro and Ouen Island management committees

For more details, consulte Activity statement

Activity 2: Help reduce visitor pressure on marine and coastal environments

This involves :

  • assessing the threat level from visitor traffic (tourism and subsistence fishing and hunting) ;
  • setting up facilities on offshore islands and the shoreline to strike a balance between visitor traffic and conservation concerns ;
  • providing awareness training and information to local communities and greater Noumea area residents.

Provisional Amount : XPF 25.4 million / € 212 852

Operators : Southern Province and Isle of Pines, Goro and Ouen Island management committees and SCO

For more details, consulte Activity statement

Activity 3: Develop policy and environmental-management guidelines for the Great Southern Lagoon

This involves introducing more consistency and strategic vision to environmental policy implemented in the area, as there are many initiatives, which are sometimes scarcely or poorly coordinated due to a lack of cross-sector resources. These include UNESCO World Heritage, RAMSAR listing, marine reserves, land protected areas, damaged site restoration, offset measures and the Environmental Observatory (OEIL). A project officer was hired by the Southern Province to carry out facilitation and discussion work throughout the project term. RESCCUE will provide extra expertise for this area.

Provisional Amount : XPF 19.4 million / € 162 572

Operators : Southern Province

For more details, consulte Activity statement

Synthesis of planned activities on the site : 

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INTEGRE Project was working towards the following objectives :

  • Maintain the integrity of UNESCO World-Heritage-listed sites
  • Give fresh impetus to the participatory management process and involve local stakeholders more effectively
  • Help sustainably manage the sites and control human-induced threats

On the site of Great Sud, the balance of the activities is the following one :

- NC - C2S1 - Strengthening participatory management of the World Heritage site

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Proposing participatory environmental management requires strong involvement on the part of the volunteers involved in this process. Technical support and animation as close as possible to the field are essential to the success of this process and it can be seen that the people involved today are not sufficiently available or trained. The support of the animators proves to be crucial and allows to maintain a mobilization of the members, motivated by the launching of concrete actions. They also allow exchanges between the administration and the local population.

However, in view of the local authority's budgetary situation, it has not been possible to maintain the posts created under the INTEGRE programme. This economic difficulty is likely to significantly hamper these local initiatives. Despite local capacity building, management committees have not reached sufficient maturity for full autonomy. There is therefore uncertainty as to the sustainability of the actions initiated by the INTEGRE programme.

On Ouen Island, a field worker remains in place for 3 years as part of a job supported by the southern province. Arrangements are being studied for a financial relay from the reforestation association which should ensure the sustainability of the pines eradication action. The situation on the Isle of Pines is less advanced and, without a field animator, the dynamics that have been set up are in danger of waning.

The Isle of Pines like the Isle of Ouen are also potential candidates to benefit from funds from the 11th EDF on the theme of integrated water management.

For more details, consulte Activity statement 

- NC - C2S2 : Participation in the management of frequentation pressures on GLS marine and coastal environments

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This activity provided concrete support for the implementation of the management plan for the great southern lagoon inscribed on the World Heritage List. On this site, the pressure of tourist frequentation and fishermen's abstractions are among the main threats identified.

The design study of a fishing observatory is a very important step to better understand and monitor the pressures on the resource in the south but also throughout the province, even New Caledonia. The implementation of this observatory is planned within the framework of the 11th EDF and will allow with its first results to adapt the regulations if necessary and to better manage the resource.

The action on seabirds, led by the COS, could not be finalized because of the financial difficulties of the association.

This situation reveals the fragility of the associations in New Caledonia which depend on the support of few donors; the main funders being the provinces which, when they decide to reduce their support, can sign the cessation of the professional activities of these actors. Thus, the support of donors such as the European Union is essential to maintain the vitality of civil society in the OCTs.

For more details, consulte Activity statement

- NC - C2S3 : Environmental management guidelines for the Great South

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RAMSAR management plan remains pending because the province does not currently have the means to allocate dedicated resources.

This activity was carried out in synergy with the RESCCUE programme for the pilot site of the Great South. The Southern Province wanted additional data through the RESCCUE program to produce strategic documents and management plans needed to implement community directions. Even if these documents were produced by a consortium of design offices having the project management of the RESCCUE programme, their follow-up by the coordinator Great South INTEGRE was decisive.

Indeed to have a half-time on this activity made it possible to follow as well as possible the realization of the documents with regard to the expectations of the community. The coordinator has made it possible to reorient expectations with regard to these various documents in the light of current discussions. In addition, it had a focal and facilitating role for the various services of the Environment Directorate, but also for the other provincial directorates: economy, rural development, land, youth and sport.

This synergy between the two programmes will therefore have provided the community with additional expertise, but regular monitoring has been carried out by the INTEGRE coordinator. The implementation of the Integrated Management Plan for the Great South Lakes, the network strategies for protected areas and restoration of degraded sites, and the massive Great South plan will enable better territorial management of the Great South.

For more details, consulte Activity statement

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Documents of New Caledonia

La province Sud en action pour la préservation et la valorisation du Grand Sud - Pour un développement durable du Grand Sud

Panneaux Régénération corallienne zone à protéger - Baie de Kanuméra

Panneaux Coral Reef regeneration protected area - Kanumera Bay

Flyer Régénération corallienne zone à protéger - Baie de Kanuméra

Flyer  Coral Reef regeneration marine protected area - Kanumera Bay

Flyer  Coral Reef regeneration marine protected area - Kanumera Bay in japonese

Flyer Les récifs coralliens et les herbiers marins sont des écosystèmes fragiles et d'une importance majeure en Nouvelle Calédonie

Flyer Coral reefs and seagrass beds are fragile ecosystems of major importance in New Caledonia

Flyer Coral reefs and seagrass beds are fragile ecosystems of major importance in New Caledonia in Japonese

Maquette du jeu du parc du Grand Lagon Sud

Cartes du jeu du parc du Grand Lagon Sud

Cartes du jeu du parc du Grand Lagon Sud (dos)

Ile des Pins

Plantes de l'île des Pins

Ile Ouen

Maquette de jeu île Ouen

Présentation de la maquette de jeu - Ile Ouen

Panneaux pépinière Ile Ouen - Reconquête de la biodiversité

Panneaux pépinière Ile Ouen - espèces communes et rares

 

NC - Study for the design of a fisheries observatory in South Province

Etude pour la conception d'un observatoire des pêches en province Sud - Rapport final

NC - Reef Communities of 5 miles reef - Municipality of Mont-Dore

Suivi temporel des communautés récifales du récif des 5 miles - Commune du Mont-Dore - Nouvelle-Calédonie

Perceptions du plateau des Cinq Miles et perspectives de mise en protection

NC - Integrated Management Plan for the RAMSAR Great Lakes Lakes Site

Plan de gestion intégrée du site RAMSAR des lacs du Grand Sud

NC - Coastal sedimentary dynamics Ile Ouen

Note d'expertise - Dynamique sédimentaire littorale Ile Ouen (Province Sud - Nouvelle-Calédonie)

NC - Ornithologic mission GLASOM I

Mission ornithologique GLASOM I - INTEGRE - Grand Lagon Sud

NC - Diagnosis of the tourism and cruise industry on the Isle of Pines

Diagnostic territorial de l'industrie du tourisme et de la croisière à l'ile des Pins - Partie 1 : Etat des lieux - Axe économique

Diagnostic territorial du tourisme de l'ile des Pins - Axe environnemental

Diagnostic territorial de l'industrie du tourisme et de la croisière de l'ile des Pins - Partie 1 : Axe social

Diagnostic territorial de l'industrie du tourisme et de la croisière de l'ile des Pins - Annexes

NC - Plants of the Isle of Pines

Plantes de l'île des pins - une sélection d'espèces des plus menacées aux plus communes

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