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  • She said that in order for community members to truly harness the wealth creating opportunities, they must have access to designing, training and marketing resources.
  • She noted that the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) will be required to play a key role in ensuring the protection of these and other practices and that “revenue streams for members of these communities are assured.”
  • The area is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, being home to the Maroons, whose traditions are recognised by UNESCO as masterpieces of world culture.

Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, says the Government is committed to facilitating training for residents of communities in and around the Blue and John Crow Mountains (BJCM) in order for them to reap the economic benefits of the World Heritage Site.

She said that in order for community members to truly harness the wealth creating opportunities, they must have access to designing, training and marketing resources.

“We may need to discuss collaborations between these communities and the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts for design and development,” she noted.

“The craft and souvenir sector, for example, may require new partnerships that will promote new innovations in design in an effort to enhance global competitiveness,” she added.

The Minister was addressing a one-day economic opportunities workshop for communities situated around the BJCM, at Devon House in Kingston, on May 11.

She said aspects of the culture and heritage, including culinary and storytelling practices could be marketed to locals and visitors.

She noted that the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) will be required to play a key role in ensuring the protection of these and other practices and that “revenue streams for members of these communities are assured.”

Meanwhile, Executive Director of the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT), Dr. Susan Otuokon, in her presentation, urged community members to  practise “environmentally friendly tourism.”

She said that realising economic opportunities must not threaten the sustainability of the BJCM World Heritage site.

For his part, Chairman of the Bowden Pen Farmers’ Association in Portland, Eric McCurbin, expressed gratitude to the various donors for grants provided to develop a sustainable cultural community venture in the Rio Grande Valley.

The economic opportunities workshop is the first in a series aimed at facilitating access to tools, resources and information to assist the development of the World Heritage Site.

The BJCM was inscribed to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage List in July 2015.

The region, which spans sections of the parishes of St. Andrew, St. Mary, St. Thomas, and Portland, is the first mixed (cultural and natural) site for the Caribbean subregion and one of only 32 mixed sites around the world.

The area is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, being home to the Maroons, whose traditions are recognised by UNESCO as masterpieces of world culture.