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Blue and John Crow Mountains to bring benefits

Published:Wednesday | October 28, 2015 | 9:46 AMOkoye Henry
Bruno Pouezat, United Nations resident coordinator.
Everton Hannam, secretary general of Jamaica.

Western Bureau:

With Jamaica's renowned Blue and John Crow mountains getting world heritage status from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in July, local stakeholders now want to know what benefits are to be derived from such a prestigious honour.

This was one of the questions that got prominent attention from panellists at the cluster meeting for the Caribbean National Commissions for UNESCO, which took place in Montego Bay this week.

However, according to Bruno Pouezat, the United Nation's resident coordinator, the new status that the Blue and John Crow mountains has got is quite good for Jamaica as their designation comes with special benefits.

"Yes, it is a big deal because it recognises something exceptional and it makes that area noticeable on the world map," said Pouezat.

"The first practical benefit is that the Blue and John Crow mountains will become stages for visits of tourists to Jamaica. They will leave the comfortable enclose of their all-inclusive hotels and discover the real Jamaica beyond the gate," continued Pouezat.

Pouezat also noted that the status will force local authorities to take a more proactive approach towards the protection and development of sites of historical value.

Everton Hannam, Jamaica's secretary general, also weighed in on the matter by explaining that a programme has already begun to sensitise the Jamaican public on the value of the mountains.

"As a world heritage site, we continue to receive guidance and support from UNESCO to ensure that our heritage site is going to have what is required for full benefits to be achieved over a period of time," said Hannam.