North East Coast

nord panno poule

The following issues were identified on the site :

  • Preserving the integrity of this UNESCO property (by managing the main threats located in the terrestrial buffer zone, e.g. invasive species, fire and waste);
  • Preserving and/or restoring water quality and anticipating and managing the changing shoreline
  • Maintaining and strengthening the participatory approach and involving local players (which requires strengthening managers and local stakeholders' capacities and maintaining, adapting and developing local management methods).

the Objectives selected for the INTEGRE project are :

  1. Support the participatory management process;
  2. Help control the threats that could impact the site by implementing integrated management plans in each township and pilot watershed management activities.


The Northeast Coast pilot area (ZCNE) encompasses the watersheds and lagoon areas of Poum, Ouegoa, Hienghene, Touho and Poindimie townships. It extends over the maritime and terrestrial area known as the “Northeastern coastal area” of the serial property included on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2008, together with its marine and land buffer zones. It covers 305,000 ha of land and 371,000 ha of lagoon.

  carte ZCNE                                                          

The area is well known for its very rich environment. The marine part is exceptionally well preserved and has remarkable original features such as double barrier reefs to the east. The northern part is also well known for its sea-grass beds and turtle and dugong populations. The Diahot estuary also has New Caledonia’s largest and most diverse mangrove. The land section includes the Mount Panie system which boasts the largest continuous forest in New Caledonia at 33,000 ha and remarkable altitudinal continuity (from 200 to 1600 m). Such an environment is highly conducive to the exceptional plant, insect and freshwater fauna endemicity level (64 % for plants).

In social and economic terms, the area is sparsely populated with approximately 15,000 people living mainly in Melanesian village areas. The economy generally involves subsistence-level food production by farming, fishing in the fringing lagoon, freshwater and estuaries; and hunting and, to a lesser degree, small-scale tourism involving cottage inns, trekking and small hotels. Ecotourism is becoming increasingly well organised and showcases the area’s outstanding natural and cultural heritage. There is no industry or mining besides the Poum mine and market gardening is low-key.

The main environmental threats in the area are related to:

-        damage to land environments due to fire (partly due to inappropriate farming practices) and invasive species. Invasive ungulates, i.e. deer and pigs, extensively damage vegetation by both grazing and trampling;

-        increased erosion and sediment loads in rivers due to terrestrial environment damage and current (Poum) and past (Poindas) mining operations plus various development features including tracks, fords, bush clearance on riverbanks for farming purposes, etc.;

-        All of this has led to a drop in drinking water quality and environmental quality in marine areas affected by rivers, particularly fringing reefs, which are also major food sources. In addition, erosion is gradually depleting soils, thereby endangering crop production, encouraging slash-and-burn agriculture and thus compounding the problem;

-        overharvested marine invertebrates, namely clams and sea cucumbers, and uncontrolled household refuse dumping add to these problems.

In terms of governance, the area received a strong boost from being UNESCO World Heritage-listed as a serial property. The process is driven by the Northern Province’s Department of Economic Development and the Environment (DDEE) that chose to work at a grass-roots level. The area’s six townships underwent a participatory environmental analysis and a management plan was implemented for the World-Heritage-listed zone. Associated management committees were set up in 2009 and 2010. Two management plans were finalised in Pouebo and Hienghene townships and will be approved in the very near future by the Northern Province Assembly. In the other townships, management plans are expected in 2014 and 2015. Running alongside the management plans, the Province is providing support for setting up township-level associations through the management committees that are tasked with implementing the management plans. Both the Ka Poraou Association in Hienghene and the Hyabe-Le-Jao MPA management association have a paid full-time position to advance their agendas.

The zone also includes a land protected area and three marine protected areas:

-        the Mount Panie wild lands reserve (approximately 5400 ha in IUCN category Ib) has seen an increasing number of management measures over the past 10 years through the local Dayu Biik association of residents’ representatives, which employs three paid permanent staff and can occasionally call on about a dozen people. It has a 2012 – 2016 management plan approved by the Provincial Assembly on 26 October 2012; and

-        three marine protected areas, namely the Haybe-Le Jao sustainable resource management area in Pouebo (7080 ha) plus the Dohimen wild lands reserve (3712 ha in category Ib) and the Yeega Provincial Park (656 ha in category II), both in Hienghene.

Today the communities of all six townships are already involved in managing either the terrestrial and marine protected areas or the UNESCO World-Heritage-listed area.

Many initiatives are currently underway:

-    in the land part, there is the ICONE Project (Northern Province wild ungulate control initiative for the environment) driven by Conservation International; the Pinus tree control programme, reforestation, a waste management plan and integrated management plan for the watersheds that supply Hienghene with drinking water; and the European BirdLife Pacific Invasive Species Programme on the Massif des Lèvres driven by SCO (invasive deer and pig species control); and

-        in the marine part, there is good fishing practices awareness programme; a participatory science project on iconic species, biological monitoring in the ZCNE, turtle spawning monitoring, rat eradication on the small offshore islands, refuse collection and trash and large-waste disposal along the beaches, awareness signposting and traffic monitoring at diving spots, etc.

Four major activities have been planned:

Activity 1. Strengthen and consolidate participatory integrated management of the area’s UNESCO property and conduct stakeholder networking

Participatory management of the area’s World Heritage is organised at municipal level with a management committee and association covering the area’s six townships. The idea is to strengthen facilitation so as to:

-        assist management committees set up their management plans; and

-        introduce consistency in World Heritage efforts on the north-eastern coastal area site and get the various bodies to network. 

A coordinator will be recruited for this in the Northern Province, networking facilities will be set up and cross-sectoral activities implemented at the coastal area level (some of which remain to be defined, in which case they need joint prior approval from SPC and the Northern Province and must be submitted to the local committee).

Amount requested: XPF 30.35 million / € 254,333


Operators: Northern Province / management associations



carto animation PM ZCNE

Activity 2. Strengthen participatory and integrated management of UNESCO property in Poindimie

One full-time facilitators are to be funded in Poindimie. They will be charged with managing the association and helping develop and implement the ICZM plan.

Amount requested: XPF 30.5 million/ € 256,000. Amount offered: XPF 15.25 million/ € 128,005


Operators: Association Popwadene - Poindimie management association


 etat des lieux gestion participative

Activity 3. Collect and process disused vehicles and wrecks in two northeastern coastal townships

Disused vehicles and wrecks are classified as hazardous waste. They have a potentially major negative impact on water tables and the lagoon. The aim is to remove the wrecks from Pouebo and Ouegoa by involving the management committees to identify the vehicles and educate and convince the owners that they must be removed.

Amount requested: XPF 4.5 million / € 37,710


Operators: Municipalities

Activity 4. Control invasive wild ungulates responsible for soil degradation

Activities is currently being designed

Amount requested: XPF 15,275 millions/€ 128,004

Opérateur : not yet defined

The pilot site local committee has been set up the 5th of september 2014. Its members are a representative of each of the 6 municipalities of the site, of the 6 UNESCO management commitees and of their association, as well as the North Province, the CEN and the SPC.

the implementation of the action plan has not started yet.

Pacific territories’ initiative for regional management of the environment

2014 © CPS - Réalisation Skazy : sites internet en Nouvelle-Calédonie