U.N. puts area of Solomon Islands on list of endangered sites

June 19, 2013 at 3:33 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, June 19 (UPI) -- The United Nations says the East Rennell area of the Solomon Islands has been placed on a list of endangered sites due to logging's effect on the ecosystem.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Committee determined logging "is threatening the outstanding universal value of East Rennell," and asked authorities to conduct an impact assessment study of the activity, a U.N. release said Tuesday.

East Rennell, on the World Heritage List since 1998, is the largest raised coral atoll in the world and its dense forest has a canopy averaging more than 60 feet in height.

The forest, which covers most of the land area of the 90,000-acre site, are an essential component of the atoll, considered to be a natural laboratory for scientific study, UNESCO said.

The World Heritage Committee is currently holding its 37th session in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

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