JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government is to shortly sign a funding agreement with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the review of the National Cultural Policy.
  • Ms. Grange noted that the unveiling ceremony is a symbolic move, which is intended to boost economic activity in the parish.
  • This World Heritage Site is one of 1,031 such properties, and is part of the 78 most irreplaceable protected areas for the conservation of the world’s amphibian, bird and mammal species.

The Government is to shortly sign a funding agreement with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the review of the National Cultural Policy.

This was disclosed by Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, at the unveiling ceremony for the Port Antonio gateway sign leading to the Blue and John Crow Mountains World Heritage Site on Wednesday (April 20), in Portland.

She said that once the funding is secured, the Ministry will begin islandwide consultations on the policy. She is encouraging all citizens to make their contribution once the process gets underway.

“I want to emphasise that you must be part of the change to make culture and heritage stronger tangible and intangible assets in our national development,” she said.

The Minister noted that the policy is being revised to reflect current trends and to position the cultural and creative industries to drive economic growth.

The policy was first introduced in 2003 with the aim of making Jamaica a “cultural superstate.”

In the meantime, Minister Grange said the Portland gateway sign leads to “what is one of the world’s most spectacular sites bearing outstanding natural and cultural values.”

The Blue and John Crow Mountains is Jamaica’s first World Heritage Site and the only mixed site in the Caribbean.

Ms. Grange noted that the unveiling ceremony is a symbolic move, which is intended to boost economic activity in the parish.

“You expect to see a lot more adventure and nature tourists opting to explore the wonders of the property utilising the Port Antonio gateway, because it affords the opportunity to enjoy the natural lushness unique to Portland,” she said.

She pointed out that small villas spread across the town will see some benefits as well.

“As a tourism hub in Jamaica, Port Antonio is well positioned to reap the benefits of prominently being branded a gateway to Jamaica’s first World Heritage Site,” she said.

Custos Rotulorum for Portland, Hon. Lincoln Thaxter; Mayor of Port Antonio, Councillor Wayne McKenzie;  Member of Parliament for East Portland, Dr. Lynvale Bloomfield; and Head of the Moore Town Maroon Council, Colonel Wallace Sterling,  all welcomed the initiative and expressed confidence that it will open up greater opportunities for the development of the parish.

This is the second of three major gateway signs leading to the heritage site, which were unveiled to mark World Heritage Day on April 18. The first sign was unveiled in Papine, St. Andrew, on Monday (April 18). The other is to be unveiled in Bath,

St. Thomas.

The Blue and John Crow Mountains was inscribed to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) prestigious World Heritage List on July 3, 2015.

This World Heritage Site is one of 1,031 such properties, and is part of the 78 most irreplaceable protected areas for the conservation of the world’s amphibian, bird and mammal species.