The Results of the Work of the Advisory Body


Code of Ethics

In its first session, the Advisory Body proposed a Code of Ethics for Diving on Submerged Archaeological Sites to the Meeting of States Parties to the 2001 Convention. This Code was adopted by the Meeting and is now applicable to all divers in the waters of States Parties, and all divers who are nationals of States Parties.

Review of national legislation protecting underwater cultural heritage.

On the recommendation of the Advisory Body, the Meeting of States Parties also encouraged the States Parties to the Convention, and in particular Small Island States, to review their national legislation protecting underwater cultural heritage. Such legislation should consider, among other things:

  1. The adoption of clear national rules for the authorization of interventions on underwater cultural heritage sites. Such legislation should also include rules concerning activities only incidentally affecting these sites and areas where such sites could possibly be located, which require the approval of national competent authorities (Art. 22.1 of the Convention) for interventions;
  2. The obligation of national authorities, ministries and departments undertaking activities on the seabed or riverbed (e.g. coast guards, navies, dredging services, research services, fisheries monitoring, etc.) to confidentially communicate information on underwater cultural heritage discovered during their activies and on activities concerning or affecting such heritage to the competent national authorities (Article 22.1 of the Convention)
  3. The application of Article 16 of the Convention so that States Parties take all practicable measures to ensure that their nationals and vessels flying their flag do not engage in any activity directed at underwater cultural heritage in a manner not in conformity with the Convention.

    On-going Work

    The Meeting of States Parties did furthermore request the Advisory Body to present to it a draft of Guidelines for the Establishment of National Inventories in order to ensure the interchangeability of national databases in the long term. It gave directions for the work of the Secretariat as proposed by the Advisory Body.

    The further recommendations of the Advisory Body, for instance on its work with NGOs or on the pre-planned deaccession of recovered artefacts, made in its second session (April 2011 and third session (April 2012) were considered for follow-up by the Meeting of States Parties in its Fourth session in May 2013.

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