When :from Monday 25 March, 2019 00:00 to Wednesday 27 March, 2019 23:55
Type of event :Meeting by Member States or Institutions
Where :Panama City, Panama, Ciudad de Panamá, Panama
UNESCO organizes the Regional Meeting for the Evaluation of the Current Challenges in the Ratification and Implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Regional Meeting will be in collaboration with COIBA AIP, INAC, MIAMBIENTE, National Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation of the Government of Panama and the support of AECID, and it will take place on 25th, 26th and 27th of March 2019 in Panama City, Panama.
Since the adoption of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage in 2001, the Latin America and the Caribbean Region has been one of the most active and interested in the application of this legal instrument. This is a reflection of the intense looting and commercial exploitation that for decades has affected the submerged archaeological sites of the Region, making many vestiges of the history of the continent disappeared. Today, 20 out of the 61 States Parties to the Convention are from Latin America and the Caribbean Region.
Since the adoption of the Convention in 2001, UNESCO has been intensifying the activities carried out in the Region with three strategic objectives. First, to adopt national legislative frameworks to the principles of the Convention, by facilitating the ratification and national implementation of the Convention. Second, the need to build the necessary capacities to identify, study, evaluate, protect and manage submerged archaeological sites has been one of the main goals of UNESCO's activities in the Region. Finally, the need for greater awareness of the different social and economic actors in society has led UNESCO and its partners to carry out activities, actions and awareness-raising tools, working progressively with local and indigenous communities in the creation of national management plans.
Thanks to the valuable support of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and the Cultural Heritage Agency of The Netherlands, UNESCO established a capacity-building program for the region, by holding various national and regional workshops that provided the basic tools needed to implement the Convention at the technical level.
In October 2013, UNESCO organized a Regional Meeting of Ministers of Culture on the Safeguarding of Underwater Cultural Heritage in Lima, Peru together with the Ministry of Culture of Peru. At this meeting, a Road Map was adopted that made the protection of underwater cultural heritage a priority. After a series of national consultations in Latin America and the Caribbean, which have led to the ratification by Costa Rica and the consideration of the ratification by other States, the National Workshop on Accessibility to Underwater Cultural Heritage in South America was held in Copacabana, Bolivia, in July 2018. In this context, a meeting is needed to update and evaluate the implementation of the Lima Declaration as a Regional Action Plan. Many challenges have been taken into account in the Action Plan for Regional Culture approved in 2015 by the Ministers of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and included in the UNESCO Work Plan for Culture in the Region, also approved in 2015.
For this reason, UNESCO, in collaboration with COIBA AIP, INAC, MIAMBIENTE, the National Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation of the Government of Panama and the support of AECID, will organize a Regional Meeting for Latin America and the Caribbean on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage in Panama City in March 2019.