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Blue and John Crow Mountains may make World Heritage List

Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna
Jamaica is a step closer to having the Blue and John Crow Mountains added to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) list of World Heritage Sites.

Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, said recommendation has been made for the region to be included on the prestigious list.

She made the disclosure in her contribution to the 2015/16 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives earlier this week.

“We submitted the Blue and John Crow Mountains for world heritage status and we are pleased to say that the evaluators have recommended an inspection of the site for the World Heritage List, with the final decision resting with the World Heritage Committee, which meets in June in Germany.”

The evaluators, who were in Jamaica late last year, are international heritage professionals with wide ranging expertise in historic preservation.

They play a major role in advising the World Heritage Committee as to whether or not a nominated site meets the stringent selection criteria for inclusion on the World Heritage List.

The Blue and John Crow Mountains, encompassing parts of St. Mary, Portland, St. Thomas, and St. Andrew, is a place of great biodiversity and is protected by law. It is managed by the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT) in collaboration with the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), and the Forestry Department.

The region, in addition to its protected endemic flora and fauna, is of great heritage value. It consists of indigenous Maroon communities, and it is where National Heroine, Nanny, lived and fought the British.

The World Heritage List includes some 812 properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value. These include 628 cultural, 160 natural and 24 mixed properties.

Being named on the list will bring positive spin-offs for the country, especially in the area of ecotourism.

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