Stichting News

In recent days, the third learning and network conference of the Dutch Caribbean Heritage Platform has been held on Bonaire, which is formed by various organizations on the various islands of the Kingdom working in the field of built heritage. The theme was ‘Sustainable use and conservation of the heritage in the Caribbean part of the kingdom’. A varied program with more than 50 participants in Bonaire and 20 participants online has strengthened the ties between the islands. The conference concluded on Friday with the signing of a letter of intent.

The opening took place with a video message from Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven. He is the ambassador of the platform in the Netherlands and has helped and supported us since the platform was founded in 2014. The first two days, Wednesday and Thursday, we learned in the format of the ErfgoedAcademie from the Netherlands. The Dutch format was completed with local experts and was aimed at jointly working on sustainable solutions to problems and sharing knowledge and experiences. There were lectures and exercises at the Marriott Courtyard (on Wednesday) and Delfins Resort (on Thursday). But we also went on an excursion to Rincon and Karpata (Wednesday) and Guatemala (Thursday).

We looked at the best possible ways to preserve  our cultural heritage on the islands from different perspectives. Lessons have been learned about the maintenance of monuments, both technically and systematically. We learned about restorations and giving new life to our historic buildings through repurposing. The group came up with concrete plans and advice for the managers, owners and residents of the studied buildings and areas. On Thursday afternoon, the conference was organized together with the symposium on real estate by law firm VanEps, Kunneman, VanDoorne. Representatives of the real estate sector and the heritage sector have come closer together. The theme was ‘Valuable Choices’.

Friday was opened with a video message from the Dutch State Secretary for Culture & Media, Dr. Gunay Uslu. She inspired us to continue the work of the platform. We then received presentations about policy making, financing and the possible further development of heritage care on the islands. Everything previously learned and plans for the future were subsequently recorded in a letter of intent. This largely regulates the further development of the platform. It also indicates to what extent work can be done to support and exchange data between the islands and to meet their needs.

Our thanks go out to all participants, physically and online, all speakers, the ErfgoedAcademie team, organizations that helped carry out this program, such as the Cocari Foundation and the Krusada Foundation, everyone who has worked behind the scenes and of course Bonaire as hospitable host. This conference would not have been possible without the subsidy we received from the Cultural Heritage Agency and the National Restoration Fund, contributions from the Heritage Academy and the Cocari Foundation.

We go into the future together with full confidence to work towards an even better preservation of our shared past!