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  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will shortly announce its decision regarding the inscription of Jamaica’s Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park on the institution’s list of World Heritage Sites.
  • This announcement is scheduled to be made during the 39th Session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, from June 28 to July 8, in Bonn, Germany.
  • Jamaica will be represented by Youth and Culture Minister, Hon. Lisa Hanna, who will lead a delegation to that meeting.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will shortly announce its decision regarding the inscription of Jamaica’s Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park on the institution’s list of World Heritage Sites.

This announcement is scheduled to be made during the 39th Session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, from June 28 to July 8, in Bonn, Germany.

Jamaica will be represented by Youth and Culture Minister, Hon. Lisa Hanna, who will lead a delegation to that meeting.

Ms. Hanna, in a message read by Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade State Minister, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, during Monday’s (June 15) Cultural and Creative Industries Session of the Jamaica Diaspora Conference, advised that the recommendation to accord World Heritage status to the National Park was made by UNESCO evaluators.

She said World Heritage inscription would be a “phenomenal achievement” for Jamaica.

The Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park spans sections of the parishes of St. Andrew, St. Thomas, and Portland.

The National Park is the largest contiguous area of natural forest in Jamaica, protecting 193 acres of forest on mountain slopes, comprising 10 watershed management units spanning four parishes.

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.

“This is the first mixed site recommended in the region and, if inscribed, will be among only 32 other such sites around the world,” Ms. Hanna said.

A mixed site showcases both natural and cultural values considered to be of outstanding universal value, based on criteria for World Heritage Status.

Ms. Hanna advised that Jamaica has two other sites on UNESCO’s Tentative List that are to be considered for World Heritage Status. These are the Port Royal Underwater Archaeological Site, off the Palisadoes peninsula, south of Kingston, and the Seville Heritage Park, St. Ann.

“Already, the Ministry and its agencies, including the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), are examining which of these two sites are to be pursued and put forward for consideration,” she informed.

The Cultural and Creative Industries Session, which was held under the theme: ‘Monetising Jamaica’s Creative Assets’, formed part of the scheduled activities at the 6th Biennial Diaspora Conference.

The event is being held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, from June 13 to 18, under the theme: ‘Jamaica and the Diaspora: Linking for Growth and Prosperity’.