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Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura
 
Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean
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   Underwater Cultural Heritage
 
 

The Underwater Cultural Heritage comprises all the remains of human existence of cultural, archaeological or historic nature that are or have been underwater, in oceans, rivers or lakes, either completely or partially, in a periodic or continuous manner for at least 100 years. Throughout the centuries, thousands of vessels and entire cities have been swallowed by the waves. Their remains constitute an extremely valuable heritage that calls the attention of researchers and general public as well.

Under Latin American and Caribbean waters lie countless material vestiges from both ancient and recent times in oceans, rivers, lakes and cenotes. More information

UNESCO puts forward normative, ethical and operational measures to improve the protection of underwater cultural heritage, while serving at the same time as forum for discussion and exchange among its Member States to potentiate international cooperation that would benefit all. This objective is achieved through the 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage.

The UNESCO Havana Office contributes to all these objectives through a group of actions:

- Photography exhibition "Dive into History"  
- International Seminar "Underwater Archaeology: approaches and perspectives". Manta, Ecuador, 24-26 October, 2012  
- UNESCO Regional Capacity Building Programme: "Safeguarding the Underwater Cultural Heritage of the Caribbean". Port Royal, Jamaica, 5-30 November 2012  
- Workshop "UNESCO and Heritage: what, how, when, where and why communicate it?" Havana, Cuba, 28 June 2012  
- Training course on surveying and registration techniques for underwater cultural heritage, Guanabo, Cuba, 5 – 11 March 2012  
- Panel on the protection of cultural heritage in the Caribbean at the International Book Fair Cuba 2012, Havana, 18 February 2012  
- UNESCO-Spain International course on underwater archaeology. Cartagena, Murcia, Spain. 19 September-28 October 2011  
- International Seminar "Building local capacities for the research and management of the Underwater Cultural Heritage". Bogota, Colombia. 7-9 September 2011  
- National Consultation Meeting on Underwater Cultural Heritage in the Dominican Republic, 27-28 June 2011  
- Celebrating the X Anniversary of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay, 14 June 2011  
- Presentation of the 2011 Convention at the UNESCO Panel on Cultural Diversity, people of African descent and Endangered Languages at the Casa de las Américas Colloquium. Havana, Cuba, 18 May 2011  
- Caribbean Meeting on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, Port Royal, Jamaica, 10-11 May, 2011  
- Publication of the article "Underwater Cultural Heritage: A Legacy for Humanity". Havana, Cuba, May 2011  
- Presentation of the 2001 Convention at the 4th International Course for Scientific Diving CMAS Zone America (FMAS-FCAS), Cuba, 25-29 April 2011  
- Regional Workshop "Technical and legal challenges of the Underwater Cultural Heritage in Central America and Mexico". Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico, 2-3 March 2011  
- Curso de conservación y restauración del patrimonio arqueológico subacuático. Santo Domingo, República Dominicana, 22-26 noviembre 2010  
- Curso "Investigación y gestión de la arqueología subacuática y marítima". Campeche, México, 27 septiembre-8 octubre 2010  
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