Planet4People was invited by COHERIT to take part in the Sustainable Heritage Endorsement Programme supported by the Organization of American States and implemented in the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, with Haiti participating as an observer.
This project seeks to address four main challenges to the sharing of equitable and lasting benefits to the people of the region from their cultural heritage resources:
- Concentration of tourism in resorts and densely settled areas, bypassing the landmarks and culture of rural areas and large segments of the population.
- “Generic” souvenirs and performances that do not adequately or respecaully represent the diversity of local craftss, foods, artistic expression, and local knowledge.
- Restricted access to the tourism market for local practitioners, small businesses, and marginalized communities.
- Loss of local skills and traditions due to insufficient financial returns and a consequent failure of intergenerational transmission.
The role of Planet4People was to develop the criteria that would serve as guidelines for the tourism industry and the destinations to implement practices that respect and preserve the cultural heritage of the region. In addition P4P participated in the Granada Workshop to lead the discussion of the contribution that sustainable tourism can make to poverty alleviation and cultural preservation, if done in the right context.