Rennell: an island of two halves; Luke Kiddle; Devpolicy Blog


Solomon Islands – East Rennell

Rennell – the world’s largest raised coral island – is a small Polynesian outlier of Solomon Islands. With neighbouring Bellona, it forms tiny Rennell and Bellona Province, population approximately 3,000. Rennell is an island divided. The western side of the island has seen extensive logging since 2006, and more recent, and highly controversial, bauxite mining. This extractive activity, and its various and often opaque enabling arrangements, has caused extensive divisions within the Rennellese population, both on-island and in Honiara. West Rennell has become highly fractured. In contrast, pristine and unique East Rennell, dominated by the largest insular lake in the Pacific islands, Lake Tegano, is a UNESCO world heritage area – but locals just aren’t benefiting from the listing.

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