Courtesy Call On UNESCO’s World Heritage Expert Professor George Abungu (PhD)
A small contingent representing the St. Kitts and Nevis National Commission for UNESCO paid a courtesy call on visiting UNESCO’s World Heritage expert Professor George Abungu PhD on Wednesday 27th October 2021. The informal meeting was hosted by the President of the Nevis Heritage and Conservation Society (NHCS), Mr. Richard Lupinachi, and Director Jahnel Nisbett at 10 a.m. at the Café des Artes restaurant in Charlestown, Nevis.
In an informal but impressive and informative session, Professor Abungu was introduced to Secretary-General, Ms. Dorothy Warner, Project Officer, Mrs. Shirmel Dore-Henry and Manager of Brimstone Hill National Park Society, Mr. Percival Hanley. Interim Chair of the SKN Ad Hoc Tentative List Committee, Dr. Cameron Gill joined the meeting via WhatsApp.
The discussion centered on the efforts of the committee to prepare the recently received applications of heritage items for the UNESCO’s Tentative List. Dr. Gill outlined the procedures in which we have been engaged thus far and informed that the next step is to send the applications to the committee members. Shortly a meeting will be convened to determine which items demonstrate the strongest Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) and demonstrate the greatest potential for a successful nomination.
Dr. Abungu’s expert advice focused primarily on the following areas:
- the Tentative list is basically a ‘wish-list’ that can be changed over time.
- each property must demonstrate its individual OUV
- sites have a better chance of being nominated when UNESCO’s International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) is engaged during the Upstream, Midstream, and Downstream processes.
He emphasized that inclusivity should be the watchword of this critically important project. He further encouraged all entities involved in this exercise to work together as a team and ensure that the communities are involved for greater buy-in.
Additionally, and more importantly, Dr. Abungu pledged his support to the SKN Tentative List Committee and the National Commission to bolster our efforts to carry out the general mandates of UNESCO and implement programmes that benefit the government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Brochures of the Brimstone Hill National Park and the St. Mary’s Biosphere Reserve, as well as a national flag, were presented to Professor Abungu as tokens of our appreciation.
We are grateful to the NHCS for hosting and to Professor Abungu for accommodating our delegation. This rich experience has extended our network of experts and provides further support to continue growing from strength to strength.