World Heritage Committee Inscribes Jamaica’s First Site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List



Release Date

Monday, July 20, 2015


The World Heritage Committee has approved the extension of two natural sites inscribed on the World Heritage List: Cape Floral Region Protected Areas in South Africa and Ke Bang National Park in Viet Nam. The Committee also inscribed Blue and John Crow Mountains in Jamaica, a mixed site, i.e. one that is both cultural and natural. With this inscription Jamaica enters the World Heritage List for the first time.

Blue and John Crow Mountains (Jamaica)—The site encompasses a rugged and extensively forested mountainous region in the south-east of Jamaica, which provided refuge first for the indigenous Tainos fleeing slavery and then for Maroons (escaped African slaves). They resisted the European colonial system in this isolated region by establishing a network of trails, hiding places and settlements, which form the Nanny Town Heritage Route. The forests offered the Maroons everything they needed for their survival. They developed strong spiritual connections with the mountains, still manifest through the intangible cultural legacy of, for example, religious rites, traditional medicine and dances. The site is also a biodiversity hotspot for the Caribbean Islands with a high proportion of endemic plant species, especially lichens, mosses and certain flowering plants.

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