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The Need for Professional Capacity Building in Asia and the Pacific

© UNESCO/B. Lekkong

Professional capacity-building is the  key to the successful implementation of the 2001 Convention and to safeguarding of the underwater cultural heritage of the Asia-Pacific region.

This is an urgent need in the region.

Today, there are only a few trained professionals in the Asia-Pacific  region who are actively involved in protecting and managing the underwater archaeological heritage. Without a concerted and sustained effort to build the region’s professional capacity to manage it, it is simply not possible to protect our shared heritage underwater.

In accordance with the Plan of Action adopted by the delegates to the 2003 Regional Workshop to discuss the 2001 Convention, the implementation of a regional training strategy for the conservation and management of underwater archaeological sites is the basis for other actions. The development of the requisite human resource base will in turn expedite accession to the Convention by the Member States and will promote the informed application of the 2001 Convention and its Annexes in practice. 

Only a very few academic institutions in the region are offering training programmes on underwater archaeology, but their curriculum may not even be in accordance with the principles of  the 2001 Convention and the Rules of its Annex. Furthermore, most of the least developed countries in  Asia and the Pacific do not have the financial resources to send their archaeologists for an extended training in these academic institutions.

In Focus


Publication: The Training Manual for the UNESCO Foundation Course on the Protection and Management of Underwater Cultural Heritage in Asia and the Pacific

Regional Training Courses by UNESCO

From 2009 to 2011, UNESCO has organized 3 Foundation Courses and 2 Advanced Courses benefiting over 70 national experts from 17 countries. 

Click here for more information on all Courses.

"Saving Our Underwater Cultural Heritage", UNESCO Exhibit at Siam Ocean World, Bangkok

In 2010, an interactive exhibit on underwater cultural heritage was held at the Siam Ocean World in Bangkok, viewed by an estimated 150,000 local and foreign visitors.