??The historic Parliament Buildings in Bridgetown

What it means to be a World Heritage site and what is involved in the process, will be the center of discussion over the next two days during a UNESCO World Heritage Training workshop.

The workshop, entitled World Heritage in Context and Outstanding Universal Value, is designed to give greater insight and understanding about the process and what is involved.

Director of the Natural Heritage Department, Steve Devonish, explained that Barbados and Small Island Developing States were underrepresented on the World Heritage map.

But, he said to improve that position there was a need to understand what it is and what it involves. He explained the two-day conference, which starts tomorrow, February 15 and runs until Thursday, February 16, will seek to promote the issues associated with World Heritage in Barbados.

Dr. Britta Rudolff, who worked with the preparation of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison, will be conducting the workshop.

"We need to expose people to the Convention and how it operates, and the workshop is a part of that," he observed. He added the Operational Guidelines for Implementation of the World Heritage Convention will also be examined during the event which is being held at the Courtyard by Marriott, Garrison Historic Area, Hastings, Christ Church.

The document, Mr. Devonish noted, was important as it outlined how the convention was administered and what was expected if someone had a World Heritage property. He added that understanding how a World Heritage site was defined and described could have an impact on a country’s ability to have a successful nomination.

Noting that Barbados was seeking to have the Scotland District nominated, Mr. Devonish pointed to a need for more support for the process from the various sectors. "For instance, we need to understand that the Scotland District is not in conflict with the Barbados National Development Plan," he maintained.

It is for this reason that representatives from a range of agencies including the Barbados Tourism Authority, Ministries of Tourism, Agriculture and Public Works, the University of the West Indies, the Barbados National Trust and the Town and Country Development Planning Office, are expected to be a part of the conference.

Topics to be discussed include Protection and Management of World Heritage, Nomination and Evaluation Process; the conditions of Authenticity and Integrity; and the World Heritage Convention.


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