Part of the UK’s responsibility as signatories to the World Heritage Convention is the duty to help other countries fulfil their obligations to UNESCO to protect, conserve, present and transmit their Sites to future generations. With this in mind, an exchange programme was established in 2006 between the Jurassic Coast WHS and the Pitons management Areas WHS on the island of St Lucia in the Caribbean.
Support given to the St Lucian government focused on issues around protection of their Site, planning issues and education; including a major teacher training initiative in the island. As a consequence of this work, the St Lucian government have recently undertaken a major study to help control and guide development within their World Heritage Site. As part of their bid to make this study effective, a senior delegation from the St Lucian government recently paid a visit to senior UNESCO staff in Paris. On their way, they paid a flying visit to the Jurassic Coast to have further discussions with those involved in management of Dorset and East Devon’s World Heritage Site. Their visit included an entertaining question and answer session at St Mary’s School in Bridport, a UNESCO school. It is hoped that the exchange programme will be able to continue over the coming years, with a particular emphasis on links between schools and children.
Closer to home, the Jurassic Coast also has aspirations to work more effectively with other UK World Heritage Sites, as demonstrated with a South West World Heritage Sites marketing project jointly with Stonehenge and Avebury, Bath and the Cornish Mining landscape.
We are also looking to establish more concrete links with our friends in the north at Hadrian’s Wall Country and with a range of other World Heritage Sites in connection with the Cultural Olympiad for the 2012 Olympics. I will endeavor to update you as things progress!
Sam Rose, Team Leader.