As the world celebrates 2022 World Heritage Day, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor of Bayelsa State on Tourism, Mr Piriye Kiyaramo has called for proper maintenance and enhancement of our heritage which is the basis for local economic development and innovation in tourism, agriculture, entertainment, education and business in general.
Speaking with travel writers at the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Yenagoa on Monday, Mr Kiyaramo explained that: “heritage is what we have inherited from the past, to value and enjoy in the present, and to preserve and pass on to future generations.”
He said our historical sites, buildings, monuments, objects in museums, artefacts and archives, are part of our built heritage, while our waterways, landscapes, woodlands, bogs, uplands, native wildlife, insects, plants, trees, birds and animals constitute our natural heritage.
The Senior Special Assistant stressed the need for stakeholders and policy makers to pay due attention to our intangible heritages such as our customs, sports, music, dance, folklore, crafts, skills, and traditions.
Mr Kiyaramo noted, “Our tangible and intangible heritage, including the myths, legends, traditions, and memories provide us with a common language and insight which enables us to communicate on a deep level with each other and to express ourselves in such a unique way to the outside world.”
While commending Governor Douye Diri for giving priority attention to preserving the rich heritage of the people as reflected in his policies, the SSA pointed out that heritage helps us to shape our identity, adding that “our expression of this identity shows others what we value as it highlights our values and priorities.”
Our heritage provides clues to our past and how our society has evolved. It helps us to also examine our history and traditions just as it enables us to develop an awareness about ourselves, understand and explain why we are the way we are.
Heritage is a keystone of our culture that plays an important role in our politics, society, business and world view. It informs, influences and inspires public debate and policies, both directly and indirectly.
The World Heritage Day 2022 theme is ‘Heritage and Climate’ to promote conservation research and employ sustainable strategies to protect heritage sites. It is decided by the International Council on Monuments and Sites every year.