CUSTOMARY LAW TO PROTECT HISTORIC SOLOMON ISLANDS ATOLL

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (January 1, 1999 - Radio Australia)---Customary law is being used to protect the world's largest raised coral atoll, East Rennel, which is located in the Solomon Islands.

East Rennel has been listed as a World Heritage site, the first in the independent Pacific.

The South Pacific Regional Environment Programme's head of conservation, Joe Reti, hopes the Solomon Island's example will be followed by other islands to increase the number of protected areas and sites in the Pacific.

The 86 kilometer East Rennel coral atoll covers 87 and a half thousand hectares and is part of Rennel Island, the southern most tip of the Solomon Islands group.

A major feature of the island is Tegano Lake, a former lagoon that now is the largest lake in the insular Pacific.

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