Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage
While cultural heritage on land has in the last decades more and more benefited from national and international protection, Underwater Cultural Heritage has lacked a sufficient protection by international law as well as by most national legislations. However, the need for an efficient protection and for this convention has become increasingly evident, since growing technical progress has led to an unprecedented accessibility of the seabed and the cultural heritage located thereon, followed by its looting and destruction.
This background and context has helped shape the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 2001. The underwater cultural heritage is of special importance to many SIDS, as reflected in the convening in Kingston (Jamaica) in June 2002 of a conference on the Convention in the Caribbean, Latin and North American Regions.Back to top