Jamaica will host the Caribbean’s first symposium on Climate Change and World Heritage at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston from May 29 to 31.
The symposium, which is being held under the theme: ‘Rallying for the protection of Culture and Heritage in SIDS under a sustainable 21st Century climate change agenda’, will begin with an opening ceremony, starting at 9:00 a.m.
The meeting is being hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Cluster Office for the Caribbean, the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO (Participatory Programme) and the Climate Change Division of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.
Some 40 delegates from 12 Caribbean countries with existing World Heritage properties are expected to attend.
Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Dr. Janice Lindsay, told JIS News that the symposium aims to bring awareness to the threat of climate change among site managers and policymakers, as well as the main elements of useful management strategies to respond to climate change.
Delegates are expected from Barbados, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda, Curaçao, Belize, Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.
“These are persons who manage the sites. They have major administrative roles. They are able to speak on how the sites function, but importantly we will also have policy makers who will be able to speak to the various government responses from the different islands,” she said.
Dr. Lindsay said that participants will leave the meeting with some best practices “that will be shared with a wide cross section of stakeholders.”
Additionally, she said participants should be able to use the materials provided to produce publications that will be useful in schools, clubs and at the community level.
As it relates to the impact of World Heritage on the local economy, Dr. Lindsay said the Ministry will be continuing its economic opportunity workshop series which began last year.
The Ministry had staged a series of business opportunity workshops targeting residents of some 30 communities in and around the Blue and John Crow Mountains World Heritage site, which has been inscribed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
“We will be hosting the second in a series. It is a follow-up with the stakeholders that we had engaged from the different communities in and around the World Heritage site,” she noted.
“It was a very diverse group that we targeted and we are going back to these individuals …to see what advances they were able to make since we engaged them and opened up so many activities for them to liaise with different entities,” she added.