Belize and Suriname Begin Technical Exchange for Safeguarding Pre-Columbian and Historic Built Heritage Sites

Thursday, July 11th, 2019

A two-member team from Suriname arrived in Belize on June 16 to begin a two-week technical exchange with authorities in Belize’s culture sector. The exchange, which is funded by UNESCO, is phase 1 of a project in which Belize and Suriname will share expertise on how Pre-Columbian archaeological and Historic period built-heritage sites are conserved and managed.
As one of the countries which is home to ancient Maya archaeological sites, Belize has a well-developed program in Maya archaeology. Similarly, Suriname’s Inner City of Paramaribo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which features Dutch colonial forts and wooden architecture.
The Suriname team included Policy Officer and lead Archaeologist Ms. Irene Meulenberg and Director of the Suriname Built Heritage Foundation and Paramaribo World Heritage Site Manager Mr. Stephen Fokké. During their stay in Belize, the Surinamese team visited Historic period built-heritage sites in 6 municipalities, they also visited several Maya archaeological sites, historic cemeteries and participated in an excavation at one of the Maya Archaeological Sites. The team will report on their observations and findings and will make recommendations for the improved conservation and management of Belize’s Maya Archaeological and built-heritage sites.

The Belize team will travel to Suriname during the first two weeks of October 2019 on a similar mission. In addition to observations and recommendations, both countries will be developing a framework document which addresses mitigating the effects of climate change on Pre-Columbian and Historic period sites.
The Suriname team left Belize on June 30th.

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