tWRF at Heritage conference in Barbados

The first conference of the Caribbean National Trust and Preservation Societies was held on May 8th -12th , 2014 at the Savannal Beach Hotel, the Garrison, Barbados.

The regional participants were: St. Kitts, Dominica, St. Lucia, Bermuda, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Curacao, Aruba, St. Eustatius and Montserrat.

Also in attendance were UNESCO, the International National Trust Organisation of Britain, British Columbia, Canada Heritage Trust, and Ian Sanchez of Charleston South Carolina USA, who gave the feature address entitled – “Restoring Prosperity: Economic and Social Benefits of Preserving Natural and Cultural Assets in Barbados and Carolina”.

The lead person who spearheaded the Barbados conference was Senator, Professor, Emeritus Hon. Henry Fraser, President of the Caribbean National Trust, who can be seen in our photo receiving a copy of “Dynamics of Urban St. George” by Norris Mitchell, which was presented by Tim Byam, President of the Willie Redhead Foundation of Grenada.

The conference was inspired by the 1972 World Heritage Convention, which has successfully stimulated international cooperation, and which had this to say in its preamble:

“In a society where living standards are changing at an accelerated pace, it is essential for man’s equilibrium and development to preserve for him a fitting setting in which to live, where he will remain in contact with nature and the evidence of civilisation bequeathed by past generations, and that to this end, it is appropriate to give the cultural and natural heritage an active function in community life and to integrate into an overall policy the achievements of our time, the values of the past and the beauty of nature”.

In its final declaration the conference affirmed the following:

* To support all measures designed to protect, preserve, restore and utilise our natural and built heritage in a sustainable way, for the social, cultural and economic benefit of all people of the region.

* To collaborate through sharing information and expertise between countries.

* To protect our marine space and its biodiversity therein.

* To collaborate with international agencies and potential funding bodies in achieving the goals of preservation.

* To collaborate and to promote the recognition of deserving sites as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

* To work unceasingly through discussion, public education of our populations and partnership with our governments to save our heritage for future generations.

* To act with alacrity, in partnership with governments, to maximise the economic opportunities related to our heritage, for the benefit of our challenged economics.

* To commit to strengthening our collaboration and to meet regularly to best achieve these goals.

The presence of the Willie Redhead Foundation at the conference has further underscored the urgent need to have our government, especially the new Minister for Culture, Senator Brenda Hood to join with us and other like-minded organisations in achieving expeditiously this national goal in the interest of an overall development policy.

We look forward with positive anticipation for engagement.

(The above was submitted by the Willie Redhead Foundation)

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