The high-level meeting will look into current issues of the protection and research of submerged heritage, but also evaluate its potentials for development, education and tourism.
UNESCO has organized over the last years eleven regional meetings for the Latin American and Caribbean region, namely in Kingston (2002), Bogotá (2004), Quito (2007), Saint Lucia (2008), Cozumel (2010), and again Kingston (2011).
Training activities have been provided to foster the development of underwater archaeology in the region in: Mexico (2010), Spain (2011), Cuba (2012), Jamaica (2012) and Argentina (2013).
The Regional Ministerial Meeting shall enable a high-level exchange of information amongst States facilitated by presentations of international as well as UNESCO experts. It will also focus on the UNESCO 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, which has been already ratified by 16 States of the region illustrating the attention given to this heritage on a political level. An objective is the adoption of a common regional approach and action plan and a universal ratification of the Convention.
The agenda has been organized in four sessions interrupted by ministerial roundtable discussions:
. The UNESCO 2001 Convention and issues at question,
. Underwater cultural heritage in the Latin American and Caribbean States,
. Underwater cultural heritage and chances for education and sustainable development.
This meeting is organized by UNESCO and the Peruvian Ministry of Culture with Spanish funding.