Professionals from Central America and Mexico strengthen their capacities for the protection of underwater cultural heritage

Nearly 40 cultural heritage professionals from Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panamá, Dominican Republic and Mexico saw their knowledge and skills enhanced in the field of underwater cultural heritage protection, thanks to a three-day virtual workshop organized by UNESCO in the framework of the 2001 Convention on this topic.

The Workshop was a continuation of a series of meetings that have taken place in Latin America and the Caribbean in recent years on the protection of cultural heritage in submerged contexts. Its objective was to raise awareness of the importance, potential and fragility of this heritage, as well as to strengthen a network of experts in underwater archaeology and the management of submerged archaeological sites. This Workshop was a preamble to the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, which will take place in 2021.

Lazare Eloundou, Secretary of the 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage and Director of the Division of Culture and Emergencies, UNESCO, said:

Through the 2001 Convention, UNESCO seeks to help both Member States and civil society, especially coastal communities, to understand the multiple benefits that the ocean and internal waters bring to culture, human well-being and sustainable development,
Lazare Eloundou

The event was facilitated by a diverse team of experts from different universities in Latin America and Spain. It also had a large audience around the world thanks to the live broadcast on social networks.

Under the waters of the sea, on the coasts and in the rivers lie invaluable vestiges that give testimony to the vital and ancestral relationship between human beings and these bodies of water, that explain the social changes that have taken place there and that allow us to understand the identity of the countries that today make up the sub-region.
Esther Kuisch Laroche, Director UNESCO Cluster Office San José

The workshop concluded with the adoption of a Roadmap that includes recommendations to the countries for the strengthening of legal frameworks for the management of underwater cultural heritage, capacity building and education, the use of underwater cultural heritage for social, economic and ecological development, and monitoring action of the implementation of the Roadmap.

The protection of underwater cultural heritage makes key contributions to achieving the goals of the United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the United Nations Decade for the Oceans for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).


Watch workshop of November 25

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Watch workshop of November 27