National seminar on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage in Costa Rica
The UNESCO Cluster Office of San Jose will organize a national seminar in Costa Rica on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage, with the support of the National Museum of Costa Rica and the Ministry of Culture and Youth of Costa Rica. This has as its objective the adoption of a national action plan.
On August 23, from 9 a.m to 7 p.m, the UNESCO Cluster Office of San Jose, with the support of the National Museum of Costa Rica and the Ministry of Culture and Youth of Costa Rica, organizes a national seminar at the Spanish Cultural Centre, El Farolito, in San Jose, for the national authorities in charge of the signature and the implementation of the 2001 Convention, of archaeologists and the costarican touristic sector staff. The objective is to explain the Convention and to show the benefits of its implementation in other regional states.
UNESCO promotes the conservation, the study and the protection of the underwater cultural heritage of humanity. Its principal tool to do so is the 2001 Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage. This legal framework established measures to prevent looting, illegal trafficking and the commercial exploitation of the Underwater Heritage; as well as international scientific standards for activities concerning underwater archaeological remains.
This heritage is especially rich in the Central American waters. It is the testimony of the firsts contacts between Europe and America. In the same way, this heritage is primordial to the understanding of the prehispanic millennium History, through which the politics, exchanges and economies of the regional cultures were principally practiced by maritim ways.
During years, this very precious heritage to the understanding of the regional History and as a founding element to the regional national and cultural identities, has been destructed and threatened by the practice of treasure hunting, the commercial exploitation and the looting. These threats, even though reduced thanks to the efforts of different social, academic and political actors engaged for the saving of the heritage, are still facing a lack of legislative and regional framework; particularly in international waters.
Therefore, the signature and implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage is necessary insofar that it establishes instructions not only for the protection in the framework of States´ national jurisdiction, but goes further than the heritage location.