Regional Meetings

First Africa Regional Meeting on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage - Yenagoa, Nigeria, November 2013 © UNESCO

UNESCO has facilitated numerous meetings and workshops on UCH, amongst others, in Senegal, Mozambique, Congo, Tanzania and South Africa.

The first Africa Regional Meeting on the Protection of UCH took place in Yenagoa, Nigeria in November 2013 with participants from 12 African countries. It highlighted the importance of the ratification of the 2001 convention, discussed the various factors impacting UCH in Africa, evaluated major ongoing projects and elaborated an African Action Plan for Safeguarding of UCH. The meeting concluded that African states should take a clear stance against the commercial exploitation of their heritage, and that its protection could be facilitated by fostering public awareness and encouraging increased cooperation and collaboration between African nations.

Sunken coastal fortification, Malindi, Kenya

Vasco de Gama Pillar, Malindi, Kenya

The second Africa Regional Meeting on the Protection of UCH took place in Malindi, Kenya from 24 to 26 March 2015. It hosted 11 countries’ representatives and international underwater cultural heritage experts as well as representatives of UNESCO. The meeting aimed at building on and strengthening the gains made in the respective countries, such as: Kenya, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Namibia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Niger, Madagascar, Seychelles, Togo, and South Africa.

The importance of ratifying the 2001 Convention and focusing on increasing awareness on the world’s underwater cultural heritage was highlighted, as well as the tourism potential and cooperation facilitation skills carried by this heritage for African countries.

An African Action Plan for the Safeguarding of Underwater Cultural Heritage was adopted at the meeting, implementing a collaborative approach among participating countries, in order to pool their resources together. This Action Plan also included an African Regional Committee to foster ratification and implementation of the 2001 Convention.

Two next Africa Regional Meetings are set to take place in 2016, in South Africa and in Ivory Coast.


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