Caribbean Heritage Network

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Fig.1 - Manchester House, Spanish Town, Jamaica.

The recently established Caribbean Heritage Network, which the Commonwealth Heritage Forum has joined as an organisational member, hopes to develop a framework to promote the management of historic sites in the region, and promote cultural heritage, CHF Trustee, Peregrine Bryant, writes…

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Fig.2 - Grenade Hall, Barbados.
Mission

The mission of the recently established Caribbean Heritage Network (CHN) is to strengthen the capacity to protect and promote the cultural heritages of the nations and peoples of the Caribbean region. Understanding that the nations of the Caribbean possess a wide, yet unevenly distributed, range of heritage skills and resources, the CHN aims to provide a framework for government agencies, private firms, academic institutions, and community groups to strengthen and share capacity to manage traditional landscapes, historic monuments, crafts, and other inherited artistic expressions— as valuable shared assets and as irreplaceable embodiments of the region’s distinctive cultures.

Background

The Caribbean Heritage Network (CHN) has been established within the Department of History and Philosophy, The University of the West Indies at the Cave Hill Campus, Barbados, where the CHN maintains its administrative secretariat.

The initial funding of the CHN’s activities (January 2015 – January 2017) was provided by the Permanent Mission of the United States to the Organization of American States and coordinated by the Tourism and Culture Section, Department of Economic Development, Organization of American States (OAS). The OAS and UWI at the Cave Hill Campus continue to collaborate in the ongoing development and administration of this online platform.

Founding Members

CHN’s Founding Member States are Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago are the participating OAS member states. They form the original core of the Caribbean Heritage Network and their representatives serve as its officers and moderators of special interest groups.

The CHN is actively seeking individual and organisational members and the CHF has joined in the latter capacity. We anticipate that the CHN will also join the Forum, for we clearly share common aims and ambitions. The CHN was due to hold its inaugural Conference Caribbean Conversations in Conservation on March 16th-19th 2020 at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados, although as a result of Coronavirus, this has now been postponed. Among several important issues, the focus on the effects of climate change on the heritage of the Caribbean and the mitigating measures which can be taken, would have been discussed – and will now at a later date. It is hoped to give an update on the CHN in a following newsletter.

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Fig.3 - Spanish Town Barracks, Jamaica.