JIS News

The Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) is encouraging members of the public to share their views on the proposed amendments to the JNHT Act at consultation meetings.
The appeal was made by Legal Officer of the JNHT, Lisa Grant, while addressing a JIS Think Tank session at the Agency’s head office, Tuesday (February 9).
Public consultations have already been held in Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Catherine Clarendon, St. Ann, Trelawney and St. James. A similar meeting will be held on Thursday, February 18, at the Golf View Hotel, Caledonia Road, Mandeville, Manchester, starting at 4:00 p.m. The final meeting will be in St. Thomas at a venue and time to be announced.
Miss Grant said it was important to hear from the public before the amendments are made.
“I think it is important that people come out and look at the legislation that can affect them, how they live, how they do business and handle their properties and give their inputs as to what there problems are, or what there concerns are,” she said.
She added that persons who are unable to attend the sessions to air their views could still do so by calling the head office at 922-1287-8/922-3990, or emailing their comments and concerns to jnht@cwjamaica.com or through Facebook.
According to Miss Grant, it was necessary to modernize the existing Act, and to bring it into consistency with the World Heritage Convention, which governs cultural heritage.
“We have discovered that there are several inconsistencies in the Act; how we treat our two major categories of sites, national monuments sites and protective national heritage sites. They should actually be treated equally under the law, but there are several provisions which show certain gaps which were not intentional, which we want to resolve,” she stated.
Miss Grant noted that the turnout at meetings have been “good” in some areas while, in others, the attendance has been low. Regardless of the numbers, she said that the views raised by citizens have been “good.” Persons have also offered suggestions on how the organization could protect the nation’s heritage and modernize its operation.
“People want to know what it means when your site is declared a National Monument or declared protective National Heritage. What are the guidelines? What are the restrictions? What are the benefits,” she said.