Chief Roi Mata's Domain: Challenges For A World Heritage Property In Vanuatu

Meredith Wilson, Christopher Ballard, Douglas Kalotiti

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Chief Roi Mata's Domain (CRMD) is the first World Heritage property for the Republic of Vanuatu, and the first cultural property listed for an independent Pacific Island state, along with the Kuk Early Agricultural Site in Papua New Guinea. This paper introduces some of the key features of CRMD as a cultural landscape, outlining the ways in which its significance is manifested and distributed across physical and social space. As a littoral landscape, CRMD is exposed to numerous environmental challenges, including earthquake, tsunami, volcanic eruption, cyclone, invasive species and sea-level rise. More immediately threatening, however, are the social and economic challenges posed by the limited income-earning opportunities for the local communities and custodians of CRMD and the constant pressure from real-estate investors in Vanuatu for longterm land leases. The high degree of local-level autonomy enjoyed by Vanuatu's communities and the limited capacity and reach of the state place the local landowning community at CRMD in a position of critical importance in ensuring the longterm sustainability of the property. Some of the strategies adopted thus far to address these challenges are outlined in the paper's conclusion.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5-11
    JournalHistoric Environment
    Volume23
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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