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Story Highlights

  • A two-day Word Heritage Education workshop, recently hosted by the Ministry of Youth and Culture, has reaped positive results in terms of sensitising persons about the importance of the Blue and John Crow Mountains World Heritage Site and the need to ensure its protection.
  • Principal Director of Culture and Creative Industries Policy Division in the Ministry of Youth and Culture, Dr. Janice Lindsay, told JIS News that the train-the-trainers workshop addressed the promotion and management of the site.
  • Dr. Lindsay explained that participants were asked to develop a communications/education strategy for the site and to come up with core messages and target audiences.

A two-day Word Heritage Education workshop, recently hosted by the Ministry of Youth and Culture, has reaped positive results in terms of sensitising persons about the importance of the Blue and John Crow Mountains World Heritage Site and the need to ensure its protection.

The workshop, funded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), was held on December 7 and 8, at the Courtleigh Hotel, New Kingston, and attended by educators, environmentalists, heritage practitioners, journalists and youth representatives studying and working in heritage.

Principal Director of Culture and Creative Industries Policy Division in the Ministry of Youth and Culture, Dr. Janice Lindsay, told JIS News that the train-the-trainers workshop addressed the promotion and management of the site.

“We were pretty happy with the outcomes of the workshop. It really has been, I think, a very productive process not only for us at the Ministry of Youth and Culture, but certainly for our participants. They really walked away with quite a bit,” she said.

Dr. Lindsay explained that participants were asked to develop a communications/education strategy for the site and to come up with core messages and target audiences.

Apart from the need to share knowledge about the natural and cultural values of the site, the participants identified the importance of safeguarding the area.

She said that critical messages developed included the preservation of the environment, encouraging sustainable agricultural practices, and the protection of the forests with regard to fires and the clearing of trees for farming.

The targeted groups are residents of the communities within the heritage site, farmers and people working on the land on a daily basis.

“It is really our community persons, who we want, at the end of the day to be able to benefit from any increased activity that is going to be taking place,” Mrs. Lindsay said.

She noted that tourists are another target group, as the World Heritage Site inscription will no doubt attract more visitors to the Blue and John Crow Mountains.

Dr. Lindsay told JIS News that focus is being placed on responsible and sustainable tourism, noting UNESCO’s Sustainable Heritage Tourism Programme might be used as a model.

The Principal Director of Culture mentioned plans to facilitate further activities so as to educate persons about world heritage.

“As a country, we really have a lot of work to do now to ensure that we maintain the integrity of the site and we have a responsibility under the World Heritage Convention, to ensure that it is protected, not only for Jamaicans but for the entire world,” she said.

The workshop was attended by education outreach managers from Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) as well as representatives from the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), Jamaica National Heritage Trust, Institute of Jamaica, the Forestry Department, teachers’ colleges, and tertiary institutions such as the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, and the University of Technology.

The Blue and John Crow Mountains was inscribed as a World Heritage Site on July 3, 2015. The workshop on World Heritage Education was the first of that kind in Jamaica.