Heritage Legislation and Fiscal Incentives

About This Group

This interest group will focus on the following questions: What should effective heritage legislation include? What fiscal incentives should be offered for the protection of privately-owned heritage? Member activities will build on an in-depth comparative study of heritage legislation in the region to suggest refinements and new legal tools. 

Goals and Activities

The initial agenda for the Heritage Legislation and Fiscal Incentives Issue Group includes the following research topics and initiatives:

  • Continue to refine and revise the template for ideal components of protective heritage law and fiscal incentives.
  • Consult with representatives of participating member states to examine current laws and desired improvements
  • Research the level of enforcement throughout the region and reasons for non-compliance
  • Raise public awareness of heritage law and availability of fiscal incentives

The Challenge

The findings of the Phase I Regional Needs Assessment clearly indicated that there is wide disparity in the existence, awareness, and effectiveness of heritage legislation across the region. Moreover, respondents frequently expressed the perception that effective heritage legislation is not a high priority among politicians and general public, mainly because a lack of awareness of the contribution of cultural heritage to economies and societies. Fiscal incentive policies can be effective means of encouraging private property owners to protect heritage structures and sites, but are underdeveloped or not widely understood or employed for heritage protection across the region. During Phase II of the project, a comparative study of heritage legislation in the Caribbean was undertaken together with a template of components of heritage legislation and fiscal incentives elsewhere in the world. The challenge of this interest group is to continue the study of protective laws and to foster greater participation by representatives of Caribbean member states in the international heritage policy arena.