Since the signing on to the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, The Government has been diligent in building the institutional and human capacity within the National Institute of Culture and History(NICH), which is a statutory body and the premier public sector Institution that has the responsibility to implement activities under the convention.
NICH is made up of four institutions including the Institute of Creative Arts which manages the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts and focus on the Creative Industries, Film National Orchestra& Steel Pan and Youth Development, The Institute of Archelogy which manages all National Archaeological sites, the Institute for Social and Cultural Research, and the National Museum and Houses of Culture.
The work of evaluating activities implemented to achieve the goals under the convention is ongoing. Through other platforms such as workshops, festivals, concerts, and other events which involve cultural stakeholders, assessments and feedback is a continuing process and provides the backdrop for the information generated in this report. In addition to this the NICH consulted with stakeholders and Government of Belize to develop and implement Belize's National Cultural Policy.
The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) is responsibility for creating an enabling environment for the safeguarding of Belize's Cultural Heritage and for the development of our cultural and creative industries. In 2015, following the ratification of the 2005 UNESCO Convention Belize, embarked on the process of creating and enacting Belize's First National Culture Policy. The UNESCO 2005 Convention was instrumental in providing operational guidelines to help with the continuation of this process. Combined with the efforts of predecessors, and the current team at NICH the policy is being aggressively implemented over a 10-year period.
The National Cultural Policy document comprises three Sections. The First Section covers Vision of the Policy; Core Values; Rationale for the Policy; Guiding Principles and Context; Bill of Cultural Rights; Process in Policy Formulation; Definitions of Culture in the Context of Belize and Legal and Institutional Frameworks; Policy Objectives; Policy Framework; and the Belize Culture Model.
Below outlines the objectives of the policy and the implementing activities to achieve these objectives:
Policy Interventions on Cultural Heritage Safeguarding; The Institute of Social and Cultural Research has implemented a program to specifically target the protection of Cultural Heritage
Cultural and Creative Industries; The Institute of Creative Arts (ICA) will be implementing a Creative industry and Film Legislation to create a more enabling environment that will yield an economic impact.
Culture in Education and Environment: The Institute of Archeology plays an integral role in implementing activities both to protect our Natural Environment as it relates to the archeological sites, and our underwater wreckage and heritage sites.
Culture in Tourism, National Development and Poverty Eradication
The NCP is guided by the Government of Belize National Development Plan, therefore, the overarching objective of all the implemented activities is for National Development and Poverty eradication
Culture, Youth and Technology
The Youth Development Officer has been instrumental in working with other National Partners to include Culture and Performing Arts activities in youth-centered programs in areas of dance, steel pan, visual arts, and drumming.
Domestic, Regional, and International Cultural Relations
The Ministry of Culture has created a Cultural Working group that works towards buildings interministerial relationships with other Government Ministries in an effort to access opportunities under the EPA, CARIFORUM-EU, and UNESCO instruments.
The National Institute of Culture and History has been engaged in the implementation of the National Culture Policy from the period 2016 to 2026, in an attempt to achieve the main objective of ensuring that artists, cultural workers, and citizens around the world can create, produce, disseminate, protect and enjoy cultural goods, services and activities including their own UNESCO (2005).
National Institute of Culture and HIstory
Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture