The Results of the Work of the Advisory Body
Code of Ethics
In its first session the Advisory Body proposed to the Meeting of States Parties to the 2001 Convention to adopt a Code of Ethics for Diving on Submerged Archaeological Sites. This Code was adopted by the Meeting and is now applicable to all divers in States Parties or being nationals of States Parties.
Review of national legislation protecting underwater cultural heritage
On 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 others:
- The adoption of clear national rules for the authorization of interventions on underwater cultural heritage sites, which include also rules concerning activities only incidentally affecting these sites and areas where such sites could only possibly be located and which require the approval of national competent authorities (Art. 22.1 of the Convention) for interventions;
- The obligation of national authorities, ministries and departments undertaking activities on the seabed or riverbed, as for instance coast guards, the navy, dredging services, research services, fisheries monitoring, etc., to confidentially communicate information on underwater cultural heritage found or on activities concerning or affecting such heritage to the competent national authorities (Article 22.1 of the Convention);
- 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.
The Meeting of States 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 inter-changeability of national databases on the long term. It did also give 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 de-accession of recovered artefacts, made in its second session (April 2011 and third session (April 2012) will be considered for follow-up or adoption by the Meeting of States Parties in its fourth session in April 2013.