Quadrennial Periodic Report
Belize 2020

Quadrennial Periodic Report - - 02/11/2020 - 16:37

General Information

Technical Information

Name of Party: 
Belize
Date of Ratification: 
2015
Officially Designated Point of Contact of the Convention: 

QPR Stakeholder

Title: 
Mr.
Address: 
Gregory Vernon
National Institute of Culture and History
P.0 Box 1204
Belize City
Belize
Phone Number: 
+501-610-2691
Email: 
gregory.vernon@nichbelize.org
jackie.castillo@nichbelize.org
Describe the multi-stakeholder consultation process established for the preparation of this report, including consultations with relevant ministries, public institutions, local governments and civil society organizations.: 

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.

Executive summary: 

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).

Contact details of the stakeholders involved in the preparation of the quadrennial periodic report (QPR). Please also include the contact details of the civil society organizations (CSOs) if they have contributed to the QPR drafting, including through the CSO form.: 
Organization typeOrganizationEmailWebsite
Public Sector
National Institute of Culture and HIstory
gregory.vernon@nichbelize.org
Public Sector
Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture
june.sanker@moe.gov.bz

Goal 1 - Support Sustainable Systems of Governance for Culture

Cultural and Creative Sectors

A Ministry (or agency with ministerial status) is responsible for cultural and creative sectors: 
YES
Regional, provincial or local governments or administrations have decentralised responsibilities for policies and measures promoting the cultural and creative sectors:: 
YES
Regulatory frameworks and sector specific laws, policies and/or strategies supporting the cultural and creative industries have been revised or adopted during the last 4 years: 
YES
If YES, has at least one of them been designed through interministerial cooperation (involving different government departments responsible for policy areas, such as communication, education, ICT, trade, foreign affairs, labor, finance): 
YES
Specific education and training programmes in the arts and the cultural and creative sectors are established, including: 
Technical and vocational education and training programmes in
Cinema/Audiovisual arts
Cultural management
Digital cultural and creative sectors
Media arts
Music
Performing arts
Publishing
Visual arts
Digital cultural and creative sectors
Music
Publishing
Visual arts
Specific measures and programmes have been implemented over the last 4 years to: 
Support job creation in the cultural and creative sectors
Encourage the formalization and growth of micro/small and medium-sized cultural enterprises
Statistical offices or research bodies have produced data during the last 4 years: 
related to cultural and creative sectors
Share of cultural and creative sectors in Gross Domestic Product (GDP): 
2.00%
Please provide whenever possible disaggregated data by sector: 
At this time we have not been able to collect disaggregated data by sector. Data should show Tourism - x % of GDP, Cultural and Creative Sector = X% of GDP, --- THis is to give them an idea of the contribution of CCS to overall GDP- contact SIB
Share of employment in the cultural and creative sectors: 
4.00%
Please provide whenever possible disaggregated data by sector, age, sex and type of employment: 
The Statistical Institute of Belize reported that the Creative/Cultural industries accounted for in 1.7% in 2016, 2.7% in 2017, and 2.17% in 2018, 4.1% 2019 of all employed persons. age - age range followed by number of persons for each range sex - male or female followed by number in each type of employment - e.g. film x persons, music production- x persons Note all of the above can be presented as a percentage as well or both in real terms and as a percentage
Total public budget for culture (in USD): 
4,000,000USD
Please provide whenever possible the share allocated by cultural sectors/domains (in %): 
30% of total NICH budget applied to the creative sector. (private (10%) and public sector contribution (90%))
Relevant Policies and Measures: 
-

Media Diversity

Public service media has a legal or statutory remit to promote a diversity of cultural expressions: 
YES
Policies and measures promote content diversity in programming by supporting: 
Regional and/or local broadcasters
Linguistic diversity in media programming
Community programming for marginalised groups (e.g. indigenous peoples, migrants and refugees, etc.)
Socio-cultural programming (e.g. children, youth, people with disabilities, etc.)
Domestic content regulations for audio-visual media exist (e.g. quotas for production or distribution requirements for national films, TV series or music on radio): 
YES
Regulatory authority(ies) monitoring media exist: 
YES
If YES, please provide the name and year of establishment of the regulatory authority(ies): 
Belize Broadcasting Authority established in 1998 under the Belize Broadcasting Act
If YES, these regulatory authority(ies) monitor: 
Public media
Community media
Private sector media
Online media
If YES, these regulatory authority(ies) are responsible for: 
Issuing licenses to broadcasters, content providers, platforms
Receiving and addressing public complaints such as online harassment, fake news, hate speech, etc.
Monitoring gender equality in the media
Monitoring editorial independence of the media
Monitoring diversity in media ownership (diversity of ownership structures, transparency of ownership rules, limits on ownership concentration, etc.)
Relevant Policies and Measures: 
-

Digital Environment

Policies, measures or mechanisms are in place to support the digital transformation of cultural and creative industries and institutions (e.g. funding for digitization of analogue industries): 
YES
Policies or measures have been introduced to ensure vibrant domestic digital cultural and creative industries markets with a diversity of e-players of all sizes (e.g. fair remuneration rules; control market concentration; prevention of monopolies of digital content providers/distributors or their algorithms that potentially restrict the diversity of cultural expressions, etc.):: 
YES
Policies and measures have been implemented to enhance access to and discoverability of domestically produced cultural content in the digital environment (e.g. action plans or policies for digital content pluralism, public support to cultural or artistic portals in specific languages, national or regional online distribution platforms for domestic content, etc.): 
YES
Measures and initiatives have been implemented to promote digital creativity and competencies of artists and other cultural professionals working with new technologies (e.g. spaces for experimentation, incubators, etc.): 
YES
Statistics or studies with recent data on access to digital media, including on the type of cultural content available through digital media, are available: 
NO
Percentage of the population with subscriptions to online cultural content providers (e.g. Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, etc.): 
10.00%
Relevant Policies and Measures: 
-

Partnering with Civil Society

Professional organizations and/or trade unions representing artists and/or cultural professionals in the following sectors exist in your country (i.e. federation of musicians, publishers unions, etc.): 
Cinema/Audiovisual arts
Music
Publishing
Visual Arts
Public funding schemes supporting CSOs involvement in promoting the diversity of cultural expressions exist: 
YES
Training and mentoring opportunities were organized or supported by public authorities during the last 4 years to build skills on communication, advocacy and/or fundraising of civil society organizations involved in the promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions: 
YES
Dialogue mechanisms between public authorities and CSOs for cultural policy making and/or monitoring have been implemented during the last 4 years (meetings, working groups, etc.): 
YES
If YES, please provide up to 2 examples: 
The National Culture Policy speaks specifically to: Cultural councils and organisations as major actors in the safeguarding, preservation, retrieval and presentation of Belize’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage. The Policy Interventions speaks to: the Government of Belize shall: •Provide technical support for the establishment and capacity-building of cultural councils and organisations in order to ensure their effective and equitable representation of Belize’s cultural interests in public spheres. •Provide financial support to cultural councils and organizations that present clear agenda and work plans in the preservation, retrieval and presentation of Belize’s cultural heritage. •Engage community and national cultural councils and organisations in the implementation of the UNESCO conventions in the field of culture which Belize has ratified. •Ensure that all national laws on culture are harmonized with the provisions of the UNESCO conventions in the field of culture. Example: NICH establishment of the Cultural Development Fund (Est. 2008)
Additionally, The Belize Culture Policy implemented in 2016 commits the Belize government to do the following: In this regard, the Government of Belize shall: •Support the establishment of mechanisms to address the cultural context within which national planning must take place. •Ensure that cultural considerations become a normal element of national planning. •Conduct assessments of the various agents of development-formal organisations, informal networks, social institutions and others in order to delineate the roles that each can play in the development process. •Produce an inventory of national cultural assets for strategic and efficient use. •Facilitate the provision of financial resources and technical support for start-up companies which use cultural forms (fashion, crafts, audio-visuals, music etc.) for the production of goods and services. •Facilitate the development of the entertainment industry that effectively utilizes Belize’s culture through supporting capacity building of the skills and competences of various actors(performers, producers, promoters, managers etc.) and the establishment of organizations of professionals in the industry in order to grow it into a vibrant economic sub-sector. Example: Creative and Cultural Workshops to foster the development of the Cultural sector
Policies and measures promoting the diversity of cultural expressions have been elaborated in consultation with CSOs during the last 4 years: 
YES
Relevant Policies and Measures: 
-

Goal 2 - Achieve a Balanced Flow of Cultural Goods and Services and Increase the Mobility of Artists and Cultural Professionals

Mobility of Artists and Cultural Professionals

Please indicate if the following policies and measures exist in your country: 
Policies and measures supporting the outward mobility of artists and cultural professionals (e.g. export offices, support for participation in international cultural markets for cultural professionals, etc.)
Specific visa policies or other cross border measures supporting the inward mobility of foreign artists and cultural professionals in your country (e.g. simplified visa procedures, reduced fees for visas, visas for longer durations)
Work permit regulations supporting the inward mobility of foreign artists and cultural professionals in your country (e.g. double taxation avoidance agreements, special work permits and health insurance, subsidies to cover living expenses, etc.)
Please indicate if the following operational programmes have been developed or supported/funded by public authorities during the last 4 years: 
Information resources or training services providing practical guidance to facilitate the mobility of cultural professionals (e.g. Internet platforms)
Infrastructure (e.g. arts residencies, cultural institutes, etc.) having a mandate to promote the diversity of cultural expressions and hosting a large number of foreign artists, notably from developing countries
Major cultural events (e.g. cultural seasons, festivals, cultural industries markets, etc.) having a mandate to promote the diversity of cultural expressions and hosting a large number of foreign artists, notably from developing countries
Please indicate if the following mobility funds (e.g. scholarships, travel grants, etc.) have been managed or supported by public authorities during the last 4 years: 
Public funds supporting the outward mobility of national or resident artists and other cultural professionals
Relevant Policies and Measures: 
-

Flow of Cultural Goods and Services

Export strategies or measures to support the distribution of cultural goods and services outside your country exist for the following cultural domains: 
Cinema/Audiovisual arts
Design
Media Arts
Music
Publishing
Visual Arts
Performing Arts
Cultural management
Your country has granted or benefited from preferential treatment* to support a balanced exchange of cultural goods and services in the last 4 years: 
YES, I have granted preferential treatment
YES, I have benefited from preferential treatment
If YES, please provide up to 2 examples: 
Belize has a preferential treatment with MEXICO as well as with the The Central American Integration System under (SICA) that allows for us to have reciprocal agreements within Culture and Creative Industries Exchange.
Continuing arrangement and Trade in Cultural goods and services with CARICOM
Your country has provided or benefited in the last 4 years from Aid for Trade support, a form of Official Development Assistance (ODA), that helped to build capacities to formulate trade policies, participate in negotiating and implementing agreements that provide a special status to cultural goods and services: 
YES, I have provided Aid for Trade support
If YES, please provide up to 2 examples: 
FCDO contributes from its regional budget to three major programmes designed to create jobs and increase exports across the Caribbean: COMPETE Caribbean scheme, delivered jointly with the Inter-American Development Bank and the Canadian International Development Agency, which will reduce red tape, streamline regulation, and help local firms break into new markets £10 million for CARTFund, a special fund to help Caribbean countries and their own regional integration initiative, CSME (the CARICOM Single Market and Economy) take advantage of a trade deal with the European Union. CARTFund helps in testing for product standards and provides support to the tourism, specialty foods and accounting sectors £4 million contribution to CARTAC, the IMF regional technical assistance mission. This provides advice and training for all English-speaking countries in macroeconomic management, monetary and taxation policy, statistics and debt management.
In Belize, COMPETE is helping companies to be more competitive by revising the taxation system and streamlining the process for import licensing. It is also restructuring Belize’s investment and trade promotion agency, BELTRAIDE. CARTFund has carried out projects that are helping Belize to increase its exports: supporting the government to implement the European trade deal and to strengthen economic links with the rest of the Caribbean; developing an export strategy; and helping service industries to organize themselves into a national coalition so that they can sell more services both domestically and in export markets. The culture sector is in the process of applying for grants under these programs.
Relevant Policies and Measures: 
-

Treaties and agreements

Multilateral or bilateral trade and/or investment agreements providing a special status to cultural goods and/or services have been signed during the last 4 years or are under negociation: 
UNDER NEGOTIATION
Multilateral or bilateral agreements including specific provisions providing a special status to cultural goods and services and digital products in the field of e-commerce have been signed during the last 4 years or are under negotiation: 
UNDER NEGOTIATION
Multilateral or bilateral agreements, declarations and/or strategies on relevant policy issues for the diversity of cultural expressions (e.g. education, digital, intellectual property, sustainable development, gender equality, etc.) signed or amended to take into account the objectives or principles of the Convention during the last 4 years: 
YES
Relevant Policies and Measures: 
-

Goal 3 - Integrate Culture in Sustainable Development Frameworks

National Sustainable Development Policies & Plans

National sustainable development plans and strategies recognize the strategic role of: 
Culture (in general)
Creativity and innovation
Cultural and creative industries
Please rate from 1 to 4 the type of outcomes expected by the inclusion of culture in national sustainable development plans and strategies 1 most often expected outcome 4 least expected outcome): 
Economic (e.g. employment, trade, intellectual property, cultural and creative industries, rural and territorial development): 
1
Social (e.g. social cohesion and inclusion, inequality and poverty reduction, values and identity, vulnerable and minority groups, empowerment and human capital, education): 
3
Environmental (e.g. natural resources, reducing environmental impact of cultural industries and practices): 
2
Cultural (e.g. cultural infrastructure, participation and access to culture, innovation, artists support): 
1
Public cultural bodies and agencies responsible for culture or creative industries are involved in the design and implementation of sustainable development policies and plans (i.e. participate in coordination mechanisms such as joint planning committees): 
YES
Cultural industry-led regeneration initiatives and projects at the regional, urban and/or rural levels have been implemented in the last 4 years: 
YES
Policies and measures facilitate participation in cultural life and access to diverse cultural facilities and expressions, notably addressing the needs of disadvantaged or vulnerable groups (e.g. via reduced entrance fees; audience development, arts education and audiences awareness-raising): 
YES
Latest data on cultural participation rates by socio demographic variables (sex/age groups/rural- urban/income levels/education levels): 
Employment: 3392 (2.2%) (SIB2019) Overall Craft and related Trade workers made up 14.1%of Belize's Labor force, income level ranges between $1200-1400bzd/month for the tourism and culture sector; Income by education ranges from $800(none) - $1900bzd (tertiary) http://sib.org.bz/wp-content/uploads/LFS_Report_2019-09.pdf
Relevant Policies and Measures: 
-

International Cooperation for Sustainable Development

Your country has contributed to or benefited from the International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD) during the last 4 years: 
-
Development cooperation strategies, including South-South cooperation strategies, recognize the strategic role of creativity and diverse cultural expressions: 
NO
If YES, please provide the name(s) of the strategy and year(s) of adoption: 
-
Your country manages multi- and/or bilateral technical assistance and capacity building cooperation programmes supporting: 
-
Value of the total national contribution to the International Fund for Cultural Diversity (in USD): 
0.00
Relevant Policies and Measures: 
-

Goal 4 - Promote Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

Gender Equality

Ministries, governmental agencies and/or parliamentary bodies in charge of gender equality: 
Exist and are relevant for artists and cultural professionals
Policies and measures to support the full participation of women in cultural life have been implemented during the last 4 years: 
YES
Policies and measures have been adopted to support the recognition and advancement of women as artists, cultural professionals and/or creative entrepreneurs, (e.g. ensure equal pay for equal work or equal access to funding, coaching or mentoring schemes, anti-discrimination measures, etc.): 
YES
Data is regularly collected and disseminated to monitor: 
-
Percentage of total public funds given to female artists and cultural producers: 
35.00%
Percentage of women/men in decision-making /managerial positions in public and private cultural and media: 
Women in Belize Labor Force total 56.7% (2018),42% (2019) BREAKDOWN NOT AVAILABLE
Percentage of works from female/male artists displayed / projected in important festivals of the arts and cultural industries (film, book publishing, music industry etc.): 
17% (Breakdown not available)
Percentage of women receiving art national prizes/awards: 
1.50%
Percentage of women participation in cultural activities: 
25.00%
Relevant Policies and Measures: 
-

Artistic Freedom

The constitution and/or national regulatory frameworks formally acknowledge: 
The right of artists to create without censorship or intimidation
The right of artists to disseminate and/or perform their artistic works
The right for all citizens to freely enjoy artistic works both in public and in private
The right for all citizens to take part in cultural life without restrictions
Independent bodies are established to receive complaints and/or monitor violations and restrictions to artistic freedom: 
NO
Initiatives to protect artists at risk or in exile have been developed or supported by public authorities during the last 4 years (e.g. providing safe houses, guidance and training, etc.): 
NO
Measures and initiatives intended to ensure transparent decision-making on government funding/ state grants and awards for artists exist (e.g. through independent committees, etc.): 
NO
Social protection measures that take the professional status of artists into account have been adopted or revised in the last 4 years (e.g. health insurance, retirement schemes, unemployment benefits, etc.): 
NO
Economic measures that take the status of artists into account have been adopted or revised in the last 4 years (e.g. collective agreements, income tax and other regulatory frameworks, etc.): 
NO
Relevant Policies and Measures: 
-

Measures and Initiatives reported by Civil Society Organizations

Describe how the CSO form has been used to promote collaboration with CSOs in the preparation of this report, including the distribution of the form and the modalities of collection and analysis of the information received. Please indicate the percentage of measures and initiatives received that have been considered as relevant by the Party and included in the QPR.: 
The role of civil society in the country is entrenched and well recognized by the government. An amendment to the Belize Constitution of January 2002 allowed for expansion of the Senate to incorporate a seat for civil society; enabling civil society to have a voice at state level. There is no Civil Society Organization listed for Belize in the area of Culture issues related to culture are delth with under the Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB)
GOAL 1 - Support sustainable systems of governance for culture: 
-
GOAL 2 - Achieve a balanced flow of cultural goods and services and increase the mobility of artists and cultural professionals: 
-
GOAL 3 - Integrate culture in sustainable development frameworks: 
-
GOAL 4 - Promote human rights and fundamental freedoms: 
-
On the basis of the analysis of the responses provided through the CSO form, present up to ten main priorities of CSOs to implement the Convention over the next four years.: 
-

Emerging Transversal Issues

Relevant Policies and Measures: 
-

Challenges and Achievements

Describe the main results achieved to implement the Convention (at least one major achievement in one of the four goals): 
1. Development of implementation plan for the execution of the National Culture Policy 2. Lobbing for the inclusion of culture services in trade agreements 3. Promotion of cultural festivals and movement of cultural goods and services through the regional and international. (eg CSME programs SICA, EU- Womex, Carifesta, Belize International Jazz Festivals, Belize International Dance X, World Expo)
Describe the main challenges encountered to implement the Convention and the main solutions found or envisaged to overcome them: 
1. Even with the endorsement of the National Culture Policy, commitment by stakeholders in the form of administration, financing and development of a governance structure is still pending 2. Encouraging stakeholders to become more involved and maintain a practical approach in order to become more unified and organized in the culture sector 3. Establishing a communication policy for the flow of information between ministries and other management bodies to enhance and grow the sector is a challenge that must be addressed immediately if we are to accomplish the goals outlined under this Convention
Describe the steps planned in the next four years to further implement the Convention and the priority areas identified for future policy action based on the conclusions of the current reporting process: 
1. Reestablish communication with partners since changes will occur after the November 11th 2020 elections. 2. Evaluate the 5 year strategic plan ( 2016- 2021) and establish gaps and achievements for the development of a new 5 year plan 3. Continue training and development of cultural practitioners 4. Develop the industry capacity through legislations and strategic policies that will enable the industry promoters, practitioners and administrators to carry out their mandate. 5. Increase efforts in establishing international trade relationships in cultural goods and services and cooperation agreements

Annexes

Please upload relevant documents (law, policy, agreement, regulation, strategy, etc.), studies and statistics in PDF format related to the implementation of the 4 goals and the 11 areas of monitoring of the Convention in your country. The documents should have been produced during the reporting period covered by this periodic report. Please provide the title and a description of the main content of the document in English or French.: 
-

Submission

Designated official signing the report: 
Title: 
Mr.
First name: 
Gregory
Family name: 
Vernon
Organization: 
National Institute of Culture and History
Position: 
Director, Institute of Creative Arts, NICH
Date of submission: 
2020
Electronic Signature: