Monday, November 24, 2014
Trinidad and Tobago joins Caribbean in preparing action plan for managing World Heritage
Published on November 24, 2014 Email To Friend Print Version
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -- Trinidad and Tobago’s Dr Kris Rampersad will participate in the preparation of a five-year action plan on World Heritage for the Caribbean this month.
Hosted by Cuba, the meeting will bring together the focal points for World Heritage in 20 member and associate states of the Caribbean, representatives of the advisory bodies to the UNESCO Convention, universities, and specialists of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the UNESCO offices in Havana, Kingston and Port-au-Prince. It is being supported by the Neterlands-Funds-in-Trust.
Heritage Educator, Dr Kris Rampersad, Trinidad and Tobago Representative on UNESCO Executive Board
Rampersad will lead discussions on strengthening the role of local communities in the identification, conservation and management of heritage, drawing from experiences in working across the Caribbean in preparing multisectoral stakeholders in government, academia, media, civil society, local government, tourism actors among others.
A heritage educator, researcher and advocate, she was also part of the team preparing the regional action plan for Latin America and the Caribbean earlier this year. She is also the Trinidad and Tobago representative on the UNESCO Executive Board, Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, and member the executive advisory bodies of the International Culture University and the International Institute on Gastronomy, Culture the Arts and Tourism.
With the aim of devising a Caribbean Action Plan for World Heritage 2014-2019, the meeting will review Caribbean actions on heritage and develop strategies to build capacities of persons engaged in conserving, managing and monitoring heritage elements and address challenges of small island developing states, risk management for climate change, harnessing community knowledge, building cross sectoral partnerships and networks between and among actors and sectors as with education, science, communications, tourism, and others.
It intends to enhance coordination of efforts by the World Heritage community, strengthen the inter-university network, and promote Caribbean-Pacific coordination within the framework of the International Year of Small Island Developing States.
According to the organisers, “In a period of rapid social and environmental changes, the value of heritage in human development, as a repository of knowledge, an engine for economic growth and a symbolic force that brings stability and direction to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex world, becomes crucial.”
I OF AM A MEMBER OF EAST PORT OF SPAIN HERITAGE ASSOCIATION.ALSO OUR GROUP LAVENTILLE AND ENVIRONS ACTION DEVELOPMENT ATTENDED A FIVE SATURDAY WEEK END HERITAGE WORKSHOP AT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO BY THE BELMONT FREETOWN FOUNDATION 2014 AND OTHER CAPACITY BUILDING INCLUSION INTERVENTION RELATED EVENTS FROM APRIL 2013 TO PRESENT. WE KNOW THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS INITIATIVE IS FOR THE PURPOSE OF ESTABLISHING A SUSTAINABLE MANDATE FOR GLOBAL HERITAGE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
|Trinidad and Tobago key to understanding migrations, UNESCO told|
|As UNESCO launches new international indentured indian immigrant labour route programme||n|
PARIS, France -- Trinidad and Tobago’s geographical location makes it pivotal to deepening understanding pre- and post-colonial migration routes, Dr Kris Rampersad told the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (UNESCO) Executive Board.
Trinidad and Tobago was among countries supporting the introduction of the new programme of the UNESCO at the 195th session of the board in Paris to recognise the international impact of migration of post emancipation indentured Indian immigrant labour.
In supporting the Mauritius initiative entitled The International Indentured Labour Route Project, geared to enhance knowledge around its landing point of Indian immigration, the Aapravasi Ghat, Rampersad, the Trinidad and Tobago Representative on the 58-member board, pointed out that the Caribbean was a critical dimension of labour migration to post slavery societies, noting that more than one million Indian and other Asians crossed the Atlantic to the Caribbean and the Americas in the immediate post-emancipation period.
She said her research shows the islands may hold the key to broadening and deepening understanding pre-Columbian migrations in the Americas as it has been in the colonial and post slavery migrations from Europe, Africa and Asian in its location off the tip of South America and as the most southerly of Caribbean islands.
Rampersad, a heritage educator, researcher and journalist, who has been researching and advocating for greater national and international efforts at safeguarding what she calls “the other Magnificent Seven of South Trinidad and the Global South,” said the heritage assets of small island states like Trinidad and Tobago, remain vulnerable to other pressing development agendas.
She has written in her blog to the Trinidad and Tobago President Anthony Carmona and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar asking them to prioritise their safeguarding within the national development agenda and readers are circulating online petition in support.
Piloted by Mauritius, which also agreed to provide extra-budgetary funds to support its implementation, the decision to introduce The International Indentured Labour Route Project was universally supported and adopted by the UNESCO Board, along with other programmes to safeguard vulnerable heritage assets in other countries, following the negotiation of the text which came before the Programmes and External Affairs Commission. The Commission, one of two decision-making Commissions of the Board, was co-chaired by Rampersad.
Rampersad suggested to UNESCO that as the project unfolds, the Board also explore not only the synergies with the Slave Route project but also the potential of private-public sector and NGO partnerships within both and how they may broadening and deepening the proposed refocus on oceans and small island developing states so as “to accommodate equity and balance and the cultural diversity and heritage dimensions in the United Nations post-2015 sustainable development agenda.”
The Mauritius initiative drew from a decision of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee that considered “the importance of an International Indentured Labour Route Project to complement the Slave Route Project and the General History of Africa which will be implemented in the context of the International Decade of People of African descent.”
Rampersad is the UNESCO national focal point on World Heritage and its trained facilitator for the English-speaking Caribbean on the Convention for the Protection and Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (2003). She has also been part of Commonwealth and UNESCO initiatives to recognise culture-centred development through these and other conventions that drive the cultural and creative industries sectors as the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005).
Rampersad noted that the new programme, which has already been highly commended by Africa, Asia/Pacific, European and Latin American and Caribbean delegates also presents possibilities towards heightening the dimensions of international cooperation promoted in the UNESCO conventions against trafficking in cultural property (1970), World Heritage (1972), intangible cultural expressions (2003), diversity of cultural expressions (2005) and underwater cultural heritage (2006).
In an interview on the initiative, she said: “Ebola is today waving its passport of global citizenship and has more clearly brought home to us the realities of the borderless world in which we really exist. As children of both slave and silk routes, though far removed from some of our societies of origin – and I say this acknowledging the also marginalised indigenous communities of our region, we in the Caribbean have naturally existed in trans-boundary spaces with intertwined heritage that span all the continents of the world. While in some of our societies these remain vibrant and effervescent and spawning new cultures through fusions, in others they are significantly in danger of disappearing from various pressures, still unmapped, understudied, underassessed and undervalued in the contexts of our global village.
“In turn, we have also spawned other diasporas, offspring of our complex Caribbean societies, in other parts of the Americas, in Europe, in Africa and in Asia itself, that are not just parallel to but intimately intertwined with the storyline of our post slavery evolution.”
In acknowledging synergies between the Slave Route Project and the new project, the Board “recognised the need to develop professional capacity in fields as history, anthropology, archaeology and heritage towards creating an international database on indentured labour… about such a major historical event and build greater understanding and cooperation among peoples.”
The UNESCO Executive Board also lent support for a series of activities to celebrate UNESCO’s 70th anniversary; initiatives related to prioritising education and culture in the UN post 2015 development agenda, introduced new international prizes and revived some which were suspended owing to financial and other challenges.
The Board is chaired by Mohamed Sameh Amr of Egypt and the UNESCO secretariat is headed by Director General, Irina Bokova.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Trinidad and Tobago vice-chairs UNESCO's programmes/external relations commission
Published on October 25, 2014
PARIS, France -- Dr Kris Rampersad, Trinidad and Tobago’s representative to the UNESCO executive board, was elected unopposed as the vice-chair of UNESCO’s programmes and external services commission (PX) to the board for the second consecutive time. The PX Commission is one of two commissions of the UNESCO executive board and is charged with examining and directing UNESCO’s programmes. It is chaired by Porfirio Thierry Muñoz Ledo of Mexico.
Dr Kris Rampersad
Now chaired by Egypt’s Mohamed Sameh Amr, the 58-member executive board, currently in its 195th session in Paris, is one of three governing organs of UNESCO with the General Assembly and Secretariat. It is responsible for appraising and informing UNESCO’s work programme and budgets. This is the first year of Trinidad and Tobago’s term on the board since it was elected by the 2013 General Assembly, when it polled the highest number of votes among candidates for the Latin American and Caribbean (GRULAC) region.
Rampersad, a cultural heritage researcher, educator and multimedia journalist, is a former independent member of the consultative body of UNESCO Inter-Governmental Committee on Intangible Cultural Heritage, and chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO.
She also serves on the advisory boards of the International Culture University and the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism, and has worked across the UN, Commonwealth and OAS regions working with multisectoral partners in civil society, government, private sector, academia and intergovernmental agencies to devise multidimensional approaches to addressing challenges of change sustainable development.
She has devised and conducted creative interactive courses, seminars and education programmes that encourage critical interrogation of development agendas to stimulate people-centred, gender and culture-sensitive paths to progress.
These include evaluations and assessments of north-south relations and particularly the small island developing states of the Caribbean in international policy arena, particularly in relation to gender, governance, culture and education at such forums as Commonwealth and OAS Summits; World Summit of Information Society; World Summit on Arts and Culture, Commonwealth Diversity Conferences, International Conferences on Cultural Policy Research, Brussels Briefings on Agriculture of the ACP-EU, among others.
Her successful pilot strategy for such round-table engagements to explore solutions towards food security was adopted as the model for the ACP-EU International Seminar on Media and Agriculture in Brussels.
Rampersad is the author of the three acclaimed seminal groundbreaking works: Finding a Place on the Indo-Trinidadian literary history of Trinidad and Tobago; Through the Political Glass Ceiling – Race to Prime Ministership by Trinidad and Tobago’s First Female and LiTTscapes – Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago which features its literary heritage through more than 100 works by more than 60 writers since 1595.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
‘T&T world heritage status at risk
Lord Shiva Temple in Cambodia gets Happy Divali present from UNESCO #195EX
Today, Divali Day, the Programme and External Affairs Commission of the UNESCO Executive Board, co-chaired by Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago also unanimously passed a resolution for establishment of an International Coordinating Committee for the Preah Vihar Temple which was subject to prolonged dispute between Cambodia and Thailand but which after a long process came to an agreement that found consensus between the two parties and was unanimously supported by the PX Commission.
Congrats to colleagues who worked on the difficult drafting and negotiation process of this and the State parties Cambodia and Thailand for this exemplary collaboration.
|Temple of Preah Vijeah of Cambodia via |
UNESCO World Heritage Committee
Let's also take pride in and protect ours.
Get Involved http://goo.gl/tNAwm6
Get Informed goo.gl/Um7YkU
Get Enlightened http://goo.gl/zUbDJy
Know more http://goo.gl/rU0DTn
Saturday, October 18, 2014
This district’s heritage assets is of considerable value not just to the Trinidad and Tobago and the island cultures of the Caribbean, but also in establishing missing links in active research on precolonial and prehistoric period which is the focus of my research.
There are also many options that have not yet been explored in the current furore that can find favour with the majority of the parties involved; that can provide the districts in question with speedy transport route as well as meet conservation and heritage objectives. We just have not opened our eyes to them yet. We are an innovative people. This is a time when we need to apply this spirit of innovation.
We have for so far fought that we have been written out of history. Here's the opportunity to write ourselves back into it, in a significant way. The options we choose should be to do so, otherwise, we would have only ourselves to blame for blotting ourselves out to perpetuity.
Friday, October 17, 2014
Budget debate unesco executive board more effective n efficient #195EX @UNESCO_ExBChair @unesco @krisramp @lolleaves
cuts from $653m to $507m hamper work
Monday, October 13, 2014
‘Govt, activist in suicide pact’
Rampersad, who is the author of the first book on Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Through the Political Glass Ceiling, that maps the PM’s journey from rural Trinidad to Prime Ministership from speeches, said the letter was inspired by her own impulse to act because it was the responsibility of citizens to motivate and encourage public officials to act in the best interests of the country.
She said there had been much focus on Port-of-Spain and the city heritage that included the seven European-styled buildings in disrepair, but the fundamental and valuable heritage of global scale importance have been overlooked as part of general neglect in development planning for the South.
She said that there was an absolute win-win model that had been workshopped at various regional Unesco and other forums and to senior officials of the World Heritage Centre, all of whom had urged and were eager to see us step forward. Rampersad said that will be quite a breakthrough for many other societies also trying to strike the balance between meeting the needs of growing populations while conserving for the future.
Friday, October 3, 2014
The other Magnificent Seven Open Letter to President Carmona and Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar
Your excellent self, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; and your honourable self, Prime Minister, I pause in my packing as I contemplate some place to which I can escape, perhaps permanently, something I have so far resisted but now such resistance seems so foolish as now I seek a place where I can think without the mindless noise and read and write and accumulate knowledge without the distractions of indifference, and I wouldn't be the first son or daughter that our islands nourished whose 'nah leaving' stance get returned with 'go nah' as we chest-thumpingly accept that our equal place trains many but could retain few. So I pause to draw attention to what follows and this, the image of the National Coat of Arms, the fundamental symbol of our nationhood, and the core inspiration of national pride, which, to myself and several like-minded citizens, is also a representation of much of what is askew in our potentially illustrious State.
But what of what you don't know? Aren't you curious?
With deceased Archeologist Peter Harris
We will remain in our ignorance; the world will not be any wiser. We would not have taken advantage of this age of knowledge and information and communication technologies that have also been part of the world’s bounties provided for us to explore our world and what it holds and the significance for our human civilisation. We would have done a disservice to the minds and hearts of the men and women who piloted our nation to the place it is today. We would not have answered the call to lead.
Why should we be yoked with a Constitution and other national instruments, forms, formats, systems and processes that promote and feed our senses of inferiority, our insecurities, our dichotomies and our anxieties?
Despite having shared and envisioned with me the potential impact of the pieces of this new knowledge and information, they return to their comfort zones of immediacy, to get lost in other imperatives and paperwork, shelving their curious, scared at the thought of losing a contract or a potential contract; of affecting their bootylines and profit lines, of upsetting a leader of industry or of politics.
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