World Oceans Day 2016 - UNESCO recalls the importance of the Underwater Cultural Heritage in achieving sustainable development
UNESCO’s Director-General message on the occasion of the World Oceans Day has been very clear: “The Ocean is essential to moving forward”.
In fact, the ocean has been a crucial component of the development of human societies since the dawn of history, as well as it is key in the sustainability of our environment. This can be seen in the archaeological traces found today under the water of our oceans. A vast number of the testimonies of this relation between the human societies and the oceans remain preserved today underwater and they are in danger due to the increasing impacts of human activities on the marine environment.
UNESCO, through the Secretariat of the 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, assists Member States in ensuring protection of their submerged cultural heritage by the effective implementation of the 2001 Convention. UNESCO also provides Member States with important guidelines for the appropriate and sustainable use of the underwater cultural resources, ensuring the application of the best international scientific standards.
UNESCO has launched a social media campaign with images and infographics on the occasion of the World Oceans Day 2016. This campaign is focused on the importance of the underwater cultural heritage as a driver for sustainable development and as enabler to understand climate change.
It also reminds that the safeguarding of the underwater cultural heritage as well as its public engagement contributes, among others, to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 13 and 14, on Climate Action and Life below Water.
World Oceans Day is an opportunity to bring all actors and stakeholders concerned to better improve the protection and the management of the underwater cultural heritage, bringing its importance forward as it helps society to understand global challenges.