North East Coast

nord panno poule

The north-eastern coastal area was selected as INTEGRE’s pilot site in the Northern Province. It is part of the UNESCO World- Heritage listed New Caledonia Lagoon serial property and covers 3050 sq. km on land and 3710 sq. km in the lagoon.

INTEGRE fully subscribes to this networking approach and strives to provide support to the Northern Province and its partners in their efforts to promote and implement integrated management initiatives in this outstanding coastal area.

 A regional methodology workshop was held in February 2014 for all project partners and a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis was conducted as a project diagnostic tool and planning aid.

This analysis helped better define the project strategy and make future activities more consistent. The specific objectives selected for the site project were as follows :

  • Provide support to the participatory management process
  • Help forestall dangers that could affect the site by imple- menting integrated management plans in each municipality and pilot watershed management activities


nord pano ilot hiegha 2 RB

Geography :

The north-eastern coastal area pilot site encompasses all the watersheds and lagoons in the municipalities of Poum, Ouegoa, Pouebo, Hienghene, Touho and Poindimie. The north-eastern coast is historically significant for New Caledonia, as this is where James Cook discovered the island and France claimed posses- sion in 1853. The first mineral prospection and Kanak evangelisation campaigns took place on the banks of the Diahot River.

Today’s population in the north-eastern coastal area municipali- ties totals nearly 18,000 and is in large majority Kanak.

This part of the east coast of the main island from Poindimie to Pouebo is very mountainous. The central mountain range runs along it and New Caledonia’s highest peak, Mount Panie in Hienghene municipality, rises to 1629 m. It is also covered by New Caledonia’s largest unbroken rainforest (330 sq. km). The slopes are very steep and drained by a river system that flows into several major watercourses, including the Ouaieme, Diahot and Tiwaka. The northern end in Poum has a hilly landscape dotted with damaged vegetation and disused mines. The ocean coastline is deeply indented and the barrier reef broken up.

  carte ZCNE                                                          

Biodiversity :

The marine area is exceptionally well-preserved, containing a variety of habitats in a small area, including fringing reefs, barrier reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves and holds remarkable biological and environmental features such as double coral reefs, micro-endemic fish, green sea turtle spawning grounds, dugong congregations, humpback whale nurseries and shark breeding grounds. The Diahot Estuary is also host to New Caledonia’s most extensive and diverse mangroves.

Sediment yields attract a larger fish biomass making the north-eastern coastal area’s marine biodiversity undoubtedly one of New Caledonia’s richest in terms of algae, invertebrates and fish.

On land, Mont Panie’s forests have a high endemicity rate for plants (64%), insects and freshwater fauna and make up an official nature reserve.

Economy :

Some 80% of the region’s population lives in tribal areas that are sometimes very isolated. Most engage in subsistence farming, fishing and hunting with no fewer than eight in ten persons older than 16 involved in these pursuits. They do not sell their produce, but eat it themselves or donate it in customary ceremonies. The tourist industry is growing and consists of small-scale accommodation, such as tribal homestays, guest houses and medium-capacity hotels. Ecotourism for experiencing natural and cultural heritage offerings is attracting increasing numbers of visitors in search of natural beauty and authenticity. Beside the Poum mine, there is no industry or mining and commercial farming is small-scale (no wholesale markets).


Environmental Pressure :

There are several threats to the north-eastern coastal area’s environmental quality, including :

• Biodiversity erosion and damage to land environments. This is caused by fire, due in part to inappropriate farming and pasture methods and very harmful invasive species. Ungulates, specifically deer and pigs, graze on or trample over young shoots, jeopardising forest regeneration, for example;

• Watershed erosion and soil leaching have increased the watercourses’ sediment loads. Such erosion is due to development work, such as dirt roads, fords, and riverside vegetation cleared for farming, that has reduced plant cover, fire, invasive species that graze and trample on young shoots; and current and past mining in Poum and Poindas, respectively. This has led to damage to marine areas near rivers and particularly to fringing reefs. Erosion has also caused soil fertility to gradually diminish, jeopardising food production and encouraging slash-and-burn agriculture, which further compounds the problem; and

• Localised overharvesting of marine invertebrates, such as giant clams and sea cucumbers and unsupervised household waste dumping.


Local Organisations :

With regard to site governance and management, there currently several organisations and legal instruments.

  • Having the New Caledonia lagoon serial property UNESCO World-Heritage listed led to various measures for managing the It is overseen by the Northern Province’s Department of Economic Development and the Environment (DDEE) which elected to work at the municipal level. The north-eastern coastal area municipalities, therefore, underwent a participatory environmental baseline study to set up a management plan for the area. The related management committees were set up in 2009 and 2010 and produced two management plans. The Northern Province also provides support to two associations that emerged from the management committees and are tasked with implementing the management plans, i.e. the Ka Poraou Association and the Hyabe-Le-Jao PMA Association.
  • Mount Panie Nature Reserve (5400 ha in an IUCN protected area category) has seen a number of activities over the past 10 years, including rodent and ungulate population regulation, botanical trails and awareness in schools, through the local Dayu Biik Association made up of Hienghene area tribal It employs three permanent staff and calls on the services of a further dozen people from time to time. The reserve has a 2012-2016 management plan that was approved by the Provincial Assembly on 26 October 2012.

There are three marine protected areas, Hyabe-Le-Jao Sustainable Resource Management Area (7080 ha) in Pouebo, Dohimen Wilderness Reserve (3712 ha) and Yeega Provin- cial Park (656 ha) both in Hienghene.

A regional methodology workshop was held in February 2014 for all project partners and a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis was conducted as a project diagnostic tool and planning aid. It is presented below :



An action plan was developed to achieve these objectives based on four main activities.


Activity 1. Strengthen participatory management throughout the north-eastern coastal area and foster networking

The joint management committees and related associations, World Heritage participatory management in the north-eastern coastal area is municipality-based with a management committee and related management association for all six municipalities. The aim is to strengthen facilitation so as to :

  • help management committees set up their management plans ;
  • make the World Heritage process consistent and have.

The various organisations networking. A coordinator was recruited by the Northern Province for this and will serve throughout the project term. Networking resources have been set up and cross-sector activities implemented.

Provisional Amount : XPF 32.35 million / € 271 093

Operators : Northern Province and North-eastern Coastal Area World Heritage management committees and associations.

For more details, consulte Activity statement      


carto animation PM ZCNE


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

A full-time facilitator has been recruited and is managing Popwadene Association and helping develop and implement a management plan.

Provisional Amount : XPF 15.25 million/ € 128 005

Operators : Association Popwadene

For more details, consulte Activity statement   


 etat des lieux gestion participative

Activity 3. Collect and process end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) and car wrecks in two municipal areas

ELVs are deemed hazardous waste. They can cause pollution in groundwater and the lagoon. Two municipalities have been targeted, namely Ouegoa and Pouebo. The owners need to be identified, transfer authorisations obtained and the bulky waste disposed of.

Provisional Amount : XPF 5 million / € 41 900

Operators : Northern Province and Pouebo and Ouegoa municipalities

For more details, consulte Activity statement 

Activity 4. Protect and restore the watershed forest in a Touho mu- nicipality drinking-water catchment area

There are several invasive ungulate regulation and revegetation activities aimed at accelerating the forest cover regeneration process in the watersheds of one of the Touho municipality and Pwoi (Poyes) tribal area’s main gravity-fed drinking-water catchment systems.

Provisional Amount : XPF 19,415 millions / € 162 698

Opérateur : ONFi, Tipwoto Association and the Poyes and Tiwae tribal community council of clans

For more details, consulte Activity statement

Synthesis of planned activities on the site :


nord pano ilot hiegha 3 RB

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 North-East Coast, the balance of the activities is the following one :

- NC - C2N1 : Strengthening participatory management of the lagoon at the ZCNE level and networking of management committees


In the ZCNE, the management of World Heritage lagoons is based on a participatory approach conducted at the commune level. Management committees are mobilized during the reflection and decision-making phases, and associations have been created around volunteers ready to get involved in concrete management actions.

Faced with the requested investment and the lack of local capacity, local animators are recruited from the associations. When writing the INTEGRE project, the context and the evolution of animation in the management associations of the ZCNE had been envisaged with a "rise in power" between 2015 and 2017 everywhere in this zone.

Each management association (MA) should have a facilitator and coordination should facilitate support for skills development, in particular by networking these facilitators. With the context of reduced public spending in the North Province, which until now has been the main funder of MAs and their leaders, this global scheme of associative dynamics is not in place today. All MAs wish to have a facilitator with them. Most are aware that they must seek funding elsewhere to maintain or consider animation positions, but few are able to do so.

The animation of the MA Pöpwadene, Hô-üt and Kaa Porau allowed these associations to evolve positively towards more autonomy and competences, and a beginning of network work. As regards the other management associations AMP and PM of the ZCNE, Hyabe-Lé Jao (Pweevo (Pouébo), PM of Ouégoa and Mala waag î hulili malep (Pum (Poum)), the associative dynamics are very weak or in stand-by.

Today, the North Province is re-questioning this system (by relying on the methodological work carried out within the framework of INTEGRE) which requires a very important investment on the part of its agents for a result which it considers long to perceive. In fact, at the beginning of 2018, only two facilitators are in place, and only two communes have a validated integrated management plan (in progress for Poum and Ouégoa), far from the objectives set at the beginning of the project. Furthermore, the post of coordinator will not be renewed and her tasks have been distributed among the staff already in place.

For more details, consulte Activity statement : NC - C2.N1 Renforcement de la gestion participative du lagon à échelle de la ZCNE et mise en reseau des comités de gestion

- NC - C2N2 : Support for the implementation of the integrated management plan in Poindimié


It is difficult to evaluate the results of this mechanism, because the concrete activities mobilizing a part of the population of Poindimié have difficulty to emerge. This is consistent with the initial situation: a young association and a rather weak local initial mobilization in favour of the environment.

However, the two facilitators had difficulty relying on the members of their association both to help them mobilize the population and in the administration of the association itself (accounting monitoring in particular). Only a few members really get involved when they have very specific projects (mangrove, restoration of burnt sites with pinus control). 

The organisation of the association's action plan, which follows a very dense management plan, does not seem to be the most suitable tool for mobilising either.

However, the province renewed its support to continue funding the facilitator position in 2018 and the association was awarded a Nickel Award initiative to fund their projects.

For more details, consulte Activity statement : NC - C2.N2 Appui à la mise en oeuvre du plan de gestion integrée à Poindimie

- NC - C2N3 : Collection and treatment of end-of-life vehicles and wrecks


This very concrete operation makes it possible to mobilize and sensitize local people to the preservation of their environment. Historical stocks of ELV are particularly important in New Caledonia and are a proven source of pollution. Their removal is accompanied by the establishment of a regulatory and sustainable treatment chain.

However, there are many technical difficulties in conducting this type of operation :

The completion of an ELV inventory is a time-consuming step due to the territories to be covered and the accuracy of the information to be collected. Thus within the framework of a participative and integrated operation, this requires information / training of the people who must participate.

Identifying ELV owners and obtaining their consent can be difficult.

Finding service providers ready to intervene in these remote areas of Nouméa for a reasonable price can be complicated (little or no competition on the territory).

For more details, consulte Activity statement : NC - C2.N3 Collecte et traitement des véhicules hors d'usage et épaves

- NC - C2N4 : Protection and forest restoration of the catchment area of a drinking water supply system in the commune of Touho


This experience is a success and, without a doubt, a model to replicate in New Caledonia. To guarantee its long-term sustainability, the North Province will have to continue its commitment to local actors for technical and financial support. It made a moral commitment to do so.

To provide a more sustainable solution to the overpopulation of deer and pigs in New Caledonia, the marketing of bushmeat could be an effective solution. Let us hope that the current study on this subject within the framework of RESCCUE will make it possible to remove the regulatory and political obstacles to this solution.

Finally, the question of the regulation of deer and pigs is one of the priorities adopted under the 11th regional EDF. Provinces must propose pilot sites to conduct the project. It would be relevant to continue on Touho to ensure sustainability and capitalize on this successful experience.

For more details, consulte Activity statement : NC - C2.N4 Protection et restauration forestière du bassin versant d'un captage d'adduction potable sur la commune de Touho



Documents of New Caledonia

Zone côtière Nord-Est

Panneaux Bienvenue à l'association de chasse

Affiche Gestion Intégrée de la ZCNE

Guide des tortues marines

NC - Activity statement

NC - C2.N1 Renforcement de la gestion participative du lagon à échelle de la ZCNE et mise en reseau des comités de gestion

NC - C2.N2 Appui à la mise en oeuvre du plan de gestion integrée à Poindimie

NC - C2.N3 Collecte et traitement des véhicules hors d'usage et épaves

NC - C2.N4 Protection et restauration forestière du bassin versant d'un captage d'adduction potable sur la commune de Touho

NC - Haccinem catchment basins

Opérations de protections et de restaurations du bassin de captage de Haccinem - Province Nord de Nouvelle Calédonie

NC - Note on the prosecution of firefighters

Note relative à la poursuite judiciaire des auteurs de feux au Service des Milieux et Ressources Aquatiques de la DEE de la province Nord

NC - Environmental Management Plans

Les lagons et récifs de Pum - Poum - Plan de gestion environnemental pour la période 2017 - 2021

Les lagons et récifs de Tuo Cémuhi - Touho - Plan de gestion environnemental pour la période de 2015-2020

Les lagons et récifs de Pwêêdi Wiimîâ - Poindimié - Plan de gestion environnemental pour la période de 2016-2020

Les lagons et récifs de Ouégoa - Plan de gestion environnemental pour la période de 2017-2021

NC - World Heritage Letters from the North

La lettre du Patrimoine Mondial du Nord - N°1 Janvier 2017

La lettre du Patrimoine Mondial du Nord - N°2 Juillet 2017

La lettre du Patrimoine Mondial du Nord - N°3 Décembre 2017

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