18.10.2019 - Culture Sector

Safeguarding and Reviving the Shared Maritime Cultural Heritage of South-East Asia

Artefacts/Belitung shipwreck©Cahyadi Putra

5 – 9 November 2019

Jakarta & Belitung, Indonesia

Lying on one of the busiest maritime routes of the world, South East Asia has been an important strategic area and trade destination for thousands of years. As the result of heavy maritime traffic to and from East Asia, the Middle East and Europe, many civilizations interacted exchanging ideas, know-how and practice.  The archeological remains in the coastal and underwater areas of Southeast Asia are valuable resources for scientific, historical and cultural researches. 

ASEAN and UNESCO convene a meeting of ASEAN Ministries of Culture to discuss existing initiatives and opportunities to collaborate on safeguarding shared maritime cultural heritage in Southeast Asia.  This meeting will be a unique opportunity for ASEAN countries to discuss the potential of maritime heritage to act as a driver of scientific, cultural and economic development, as well as to exchange ideas for international cooperation and measures to enhance the protection and revitalization of this valuable heritage.  


UNESCO’s 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Heritage plays a major role in fostering cooperation among stakeholders to protect this valuable form of heritage from destruction and commercial exploitation. Combined with the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, it will provide ideal protection on the maritime heritage lying on the seabed of the oceans, establishing an alarm system and legal safekeeping.

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