Description/achievement of initiative
1. The project aims to promote awareness and appreciation of colonial heritage and cultural identity through the rejuvenation of a pilot selection of historical/colonial buildings and the programming of an eco-museum where citizens are encouraged to share memories, stories and all kinds of local cultures and arts.
2. It is expected that the Project will ultimately result in an improvement of economic opportunities in the downtown area of Belize City via the development of cultural tourism.
Belize City used to be the capital city of Belize and the hub of economic, political, and cultural development. However, due to severe hurricanes, the Government of Belize (GoB) decided to move the capital to Belmopan in 1970. Following the removal of the administration function, the downtown area of Belize City gradually suffered from economic stagnation and urban depression. To rejuvenate the downtown of Belize city, the GoB, in conjunction with National Taiwan University Building and Planning Research Foundation (Taiwan, Province of China), through collaboration with the TaiwanICDF (Taiwan, Province of China), has adopted the concept of eco-museum to implement the project.
In contrast to a conventional museum which emphasizes collecting objects and displaying them in one building, an eco-musuem leaves objects in their current context. It could encompass a series of display nodes, architecture, and landscapes which formulate a network where the local community members could work with museum specialists to present their history. Therefore, an eco-museum could physically consist of a core and its satellites. In this case, the House of Culture will play the role of the core museum, while a selection of historical buildings will be the satellites.
To achieve the vision of an eco-museum, the project consists of hard and soft components. The hard component includes physical works on (1) rejuvenation of the Belize City House of Culture and its grounds; (2) rejuvenation of selected historic/colonial buildings; and (3) development of public space/landscaping. The soft component covers the development of an eco-museum, and community participation and capacity building. In addition, the Government of Belize has passed and enacted the National Cultural Preservation Act in August 2017, as requested by the loan agreement, to allow for an enabling legal framework for heritage protection.
Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer
To help the Government of Belize to revise the Loan Project proposal and thereby achieve its goal to enhancing the performance of the tourism sector in an environmentally and culturally sustainable and socially inclusive manner, National Taiwan University Building and Planning Research Foundation (Taiwan, Province of China) was commissioned in 2012 to carry out a Capacity Development Technical Assistance (CDTA) Project.
The CDTA had two parts: Part A and Part B. Part A was dedicated to the technical revision of the Loan Project proposal, via workshops and technical consultations. Part B focused on activities to (1) promote the knowledge of concerted community participatory planning approach, and (2) enhance readiness of stakeholders for the ensuing Loan Project implementation.
Later in 2016, nearly 3 years after the Project had been commenced, National Taiwan University Building and Planning Research Foundation (Taiwan, Province of China) was commissioned again to provide distance consulting services on related works of the Project.
Coordination mechanisms/governance structure
1. The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoTCA) has been appointed as the Executing Agency (EA) for the Project.
2. The Project Executing Unit (PEU) has been established within the MoTCA's Planning and Project Development Unit (PPDU). The PEU reports to the EA and the Project Steering Committee (PSC) on a regular basis and follow the EA's instructions and the PSC's advice.
3. The PSC, being a coordinating mechanism among the different stakeholders, has been established to supervise and approve the performance of the Project, identify the challenges affecting or which could affect implementation, and provide prompt resources or advice to facilitate the Project implementation.
Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation- Belize,
Ministry of Finance- Belize,
International Cooperation and Development Fund, TaiwanICDF (Taiwan, Province of China),
National Taiwan University Building and Planning Research Foundation (Taiwan, Province of China),
National Institute of Culture and History- Belize
Belize City Council
Belize Infrastructure Limited,
Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture- Belize
Ministry of Human Development- Belize