Caricom must use UNESCO agreement to leverage Caribbean cultural heritage

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CARICOM should take advantage of the current renewal of its memorandum of agreement with UNESCO to review and table collaborations and cooperation that are relevant to the region, heritage educator and consultant Dr Kris Rampersad urged yesterday (Friday).
Speaking at the close of a workshop she co-facilitated in Kingston, Jamaica yesterday, Rampersad said the institutions, communities and NGOs in the region should also take an interest in the negotiations on the MOU to ensure that Caribbean priorities and interests are represented in ways that can bring optimal benefits to our societies.
“In the workshop we addressed several contemporary obstacles and challenges to advancing the process of leveraging the region’s vast cultural heritage resources locally, regionally and internationally, and several mechanisms which CARICOM can itself strengthen, including through using international instruments as the UNESCO conventions and such cooperative mechanisms as the MOU.

“It would be a major oversight if the region signs the draft agreement which is an exact replica of one signed a decade ago between CARICOM and UNESCO without taking into consideration changes in the situation and environment over that period. Participants and institutions should now use this knowledge to inform their government on how CARICOM may be directed to better serve the region’s interests.   It is not enough to just complain about how institutions like CARICOM’s ineffectiveness but to find ways of instructing and informing it on how it can better serve the interests of the countries it represents.”
Caption: Heritage facilitator Kris Rampersad and participant in the workshop on Intangible Cultural Heritage Bunny Wailer shows his certificate in Kingston Jamaica

2nd National Workshop on Intangible Cultural Heritage

Participants in the 8 day workshop

Participants in the 8 day workshop
A second national workshop on community based inventorying of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) is in progress, having been organised by the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica / Jamaica Memory Bank in collaboration with the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO and the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean.
The workshop runs from September 4th to 13th at the Hotel Four Seasons in Kingston. The opening ceremony was held on September 4th at 9 a.m.
(L-R) Mr. Robert Parau, Mr. Joseph Pereira, Ms. Anne Marie Bonner and Hon. Lisa Hanna

(L-R) Mr. Robert Parau, Mr. Joseph Pereira, Ms. Anne Marie Bonner and Hon. Lisa Hanna
Funded by the Government of Japan, the workshop is part of a sub-regional project being implemented in Belize, Jamaica, and Trinidad & Tobago within the context of UNESCO’s Global Strategy on capacity building on safeguarding intangible cultural heritage.
“This is the 10th anniversary of the Convention and I want to commend the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica / Jamaica Memory Bank and UNESCO for spearheading this strategy workshop in Jamaica,” commented Mr. Robert Parau, Officer in Charge at the UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office for the Caribbean.
Mr. Robert Parau, Officer in Charge of the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean gave his address at the opening ceremony

Mr. Robert Parau, Officer in Charge of the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean gave his address at the opening ceremony
In his address, Counsellor/Deputy Chief of Mission at the Japan Embassy, Mr. Koji Tomita expressed that ICH plays a central role in the Japanese culture and a workshop of this nature is necessary to strengthen Jamaica’s heritage in light of rapid social change and economic stress. He further stated that the workshop will lay the groundwork for future generations and lays the framework to protect our traditions and creativity.
Mr. Tomita also gave his address at the opening ceremony

Mr. Tomita also gave his address at the opening ceremony
The workshop is being facilitated by two international experts, Dr. Harriet Deacon and Dr. Kris Rampersad. Focus will be placed on a) community involvement in identifying and inventorying in accordance with/as advocated by the UNESCO’s Intangible Heritage Convention; b) information gathering with communities; c) organising, accessing and updating information in inventories and d) a hands on experience in preparing field work.
website: https://sites.google.com/site/krisrampersadglobal
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