Barbados and some of the other Caribbean countries have not been as proactive as they should be in relation to the preservation of their heritage.

This was stated by Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, who was speaking at a reception yesterday evening at the George Washington House.

It was hosted by the Barbados National Trust, for delegates attending the 1st Caribbean Conference of National Trust and Preservation Societies.

Speaking about the importance of cultures and heritage, Mr. Lashley said: ???We have to become much focused on protecting what is ours and we have in the past looked to other cultures to see where they are at rather than looking in our own backyard.???

However, the Culture Minister stated that within the past two years, with Barbados receiving the inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage property, there was a renewed interest from Barbadians and visitors, who want to find out more about the heritage and the culture of Barbados.

He lauded the work of the Barbados National Trust over the years, pointing out that they were guardians and advocates for the preservation of heritage buildings in Barbados.

???The [Barbados] National Trust has been a significant partner with the Ministry and the Government of Barbados in helping us to not only sensitise the populace of the importance of their heritage, but it has been a flag bearer and continues to be so in the area of preservation of our built heritage…

???They have been champions of this and I want to salute them, and because of the Barbados National Trust, we have had a heightened sense of responsibility as it relates to how we should treat our iconic buildings,??? he added.

The Culture Minister encouraged the Barbados National Trust and other regional bodies to try to find ways to get young people involved in the preservation of their heritage.

??????We have to create the enthusiasm among our young people ???Our young people have to be a part of the mission and the work of the various national trusts because we will not be here forever??? Our buildings will continue forever, but we won???t, but we can leave a part our legacy,??? he asserted.

The 1st Caribbean Conference of National Trust and Preservation Societies will conclude on Sunday, May 11.

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