Ministry of Culture, Gender,
Entertainment and Sport

Government of Jamaica
Jamaicans on World Heritage Committee
Published by: Wade Edwards
Reference #: myc204
Date Published: Monday 29, Jun 2015

Two Jamaicans will sit on UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee (WHC), when it meets in Bonn, Germany, from June 28 to July 8, to examine proposals to inscribe 37 properties on the World Heritage List (WHL).

The two who have been serving on the WHC since 2013 are Acting Principal Director of Culture and Creative Industries Policy Division, Ministry of Youth and Culture, Dr Janice Lindsay; and Director for the Natural History Museum, Institute of Jamaica, Tracey Commock.

They will join representatives from 20 other States on the Committee, who are also responsible for placing sites on the endangered list, overseeing the state of conservation of sites on the WHL and managing the World Heritage Fund. The 21 states that serve on the WHC are voted on by the 191 countries that sign the UNESCO World Heritage Convention.

In an interview with JIS News, Dr. Lindsay said that Jamaica is currently the voice of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) across the globe on the Committee.

“As committee members what you are in fact doing is representing the issues that face Small Island Developing States as it relates to world heritage,” she said.

She pointed out that it is a matter of pride for Jamaica to be chosen to serve on the Committee, noting that “it speaks to the level of confidence vested in us as a country to be the voice of small island states, not only in the Caribbean but in Asia, the Pacific and Africa.”

Dr. Lindsay noted that SIDS face challenges and are not well represented on the World Heritage List.

“It is not where it should be, so that is something we hope to address collectively,” she said, noting that only six Caribbean countries are represented on the WHL.

There are five natural sites, 31 cultural sites and one mixed site (both natural and cultural) which are nominated for inscription on the WHL this year. Jamaica’s Blue and John Crow Mountain is the only mixed site on the list being considered for World Heritage status by the World Heritage Committee.

At each meeting of the Committee, countries are required to send two representatives, a natural heritage expert and a cultural heritage expert. Dr. Lindsay will be Jamaica’s expert on cultural heritage, while Miss Commock will be the natural heritage expert. They attended last year’s meeting in Qatar in the same capacity and will continue until their term ends in two years.


Jamaicans on World Heritage Committee