Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Politics of Disempowerment

The Banwari archeological site is not a World Heritage site and its potential to become such is in jeopardy with unchecked and undermanaged development initiatives.
It is unfortunate that the issue is being politicised and has become something of the rope in the tug of war impasse between the State and the highway reroute movement that prevents the consensus-building and nation-building that occurs around a country’s preparation for World Heritage status. 
I remain flabbergasted that its significance and potential as a core growth sector, as the alternative to petroleum and our best bet for diversification, that these most valuable timeless assets and heritage, in general, remain so low on the national action agenda.
While in all cases I have received encouragement by all parties to whom this has been addressed – heritage, tourism, development planners, local authorities etc that this is a direction Trinidad and Tobago wants to pursue, key custodians and line agencies have gone mum because the elements in focus are in the districts earmarked for the controversial highway extension, also the home districts of the President and the Prime Minister, and they do not want to get embroiled in what may be interpreted as the hype around the highway.  That has also been the fate of a petition ( in circulation on the issue.
The fact is that neither the site, nor any of the several unique invaluable heritage elements of South Trinidad, are secured in world heritage terms so as to facilitate them acquiring world heritage status as

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