Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology (AIMA) concluded a conference in Canberra which was themed "Towards Ratification - Australia's Underwater Cultural Heritage" with positive outcomes for protection of underwater cultural heritage and paving the way towards ratification of the UNESCO 2001 Convention.
The Conference was held at the Australian National University's Research School of Humanities and the Arts from 4-6 October, 2013. An expert panel meeting was held on Thursday 3 October to discuss legal issues around ratification of the UNESCO 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage with specific reference to Australia and countries in South East Asia and the Pacific Region.
Delegates to this conference were gathered from around the world to present their research and engaged in discourses and exchange with colleagues and students. The conference themes highlighted the variety and significances of underwater cultural heritage in Australian and East Asian waters and focused on the positive values of Australia’s ratification of the 2001 Convention for the region.
In addition to the conference, a meeting between the UNESCO’s representative and the Ministry of Culture of Australia was held. The Australian government is now elaborating a study on the advantages of the ratification of the 2001 Convention, especially in light of the upcoming WWI Centenary, which is of great value for Australia.