Underwater Cultural Heritage in the Pacific
From the Stone Age to the Atomic Age
The Pacific Ocean contains a wealth of underwater cultural heritage encompassing all traces of human existence that lie or were lying underwater and have a cultural, archaeological or historical character. Underwater sites in Oceania span human history from the Stone Age to the Atomic Age. Due to the cultural richness of underwater heritage in the region and its complex history, the protection of these sites is of high importance for the region. Moreover, the potential for sustainable tourism in partnership with diving industry has been attracting a growing attention.
Launching of Regional Cooperation
The first regional workshop on the Pacific underwater cultural heritage took place in December 2009 in Honiara, Solomon Islands. As possible steps towards building a capacity for managing UCH, participants at the workshop identified the following needs; systematic recording and maintenance of a database of submerged and uderwater sites; exploring licensing activities directed at underwater sites; and developing a training and education programme for managers. The papers presented by experts at the workshop were compiled, edited and published as "Underwater Cultural Heritage in Oceania" in 2010.
Proposal for a Pacific Underwater Cultural Heritage Capacity Building Programme
Based on the recommendations made at the Honiara workshop, a Feasibility Study on Pacific Capacity Building Programme was prepared by Flinders University with UNESCO support.
The Asia-Pacific Regional Confrence on Underwater Cultural Heritage (Honolulu, Hawaii, 12 - 16 May 2014)