The Minister for Education, Culture, Youth, Fisheries and Agriculture, the Honorable Natalio D. Wheatley said that “culture is a driver of development, and in a time of change, we need to broaden the development debate to harness the transformative effects of culture”. Power.”
The Honorable Wheatley made this statement at the Regional Consultation of Ministers of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean held on 14and and 15and from February. The Honorable Wheatley made his contribution on the 14and from February.
Following his statement, he added: “Culture provides a sustainable framework for social cohesion and peace, indispensable for human development”. The timing of the UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policy – Mondiacult 2022 – is of great benefit to the British Virgin Islands as we are currently this year reviewing and revising the 2013 Cultural Policy We see this as a real opportunity.
The cultural policy, which will be subject to public consultation, is being revised to emphasize current national priorities, including the development of creative industries, cultural heritage and cultural education. According to the Minister, this review also includes “the integration of culture in all sectors: trade, tourism and economy, education, environment and climate change or justice, health, community, youth, gender, media and sports”. With this in mind, the Department of Culture is currently collaborating with the Ministry to integrate the teaching of cultural arts and cultural heritage into the education sector and into the national curriculum. The Minister believes that this will allow the transmission of cultural values and heritage to younger generations. Additionally, he believes that cultural education is important because it promotes a sense of belonging, identity, and a sense of historical belonging.
“We will include public education as a goal along with formal education. It is also important that the community is informed about culture and heritage; lifelong learning is important. Cultural education and awareness leads to social cohesion in society,” said the Honorable Wheatley.
The minister also spoke of the need for the review to include strengthening the Virgin Islands’ sense of national pride and identity while recognizing that the territory is now and currently a multicultural society. Other areas include a focus on tangible and intangible heritage conservation and development programs, including a comprehensive oral history curriculum.
The Minister also spoke of the critical need to develop infrastructure such as a performing arts centre, a national museum and a national gallery as well as the need to develop already existing festivals.
In conclusion, he expressed the need to move forward with the ratification of several UNESCO conventions. These conventions include: the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage (2003); the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Heritage (2001); the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972); and the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005).