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Experts' Meeting 9-11 April 2007, Galle, Sri Lanka

The Experts Meeting in April 2007 aims to provide a platform for policy makers, legal experts and professional experts/archaeologists to discuss and formulate practical road maps for the ratification of the 2001 Convention in Member States and the adoption of Rules of the Annex to the Convention in their administrative systems. The Meeting also aims to set the timetable for the implementation of the 2003 Action Plan for the Asia-Pacific Region to facilitate the ratification of the 2001 Convention and mainstreaming the Rules of the Annex to the Convention into national policies.

 

Location:    Galle and Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka
Dates:        9-11 April 2007
Organizers: Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology (PGIAR)
                 University of Kelaniya (Sri Lanka)
                 Ministry of Cultural Affairs (Sri Lanka)


The UNESCO Bangkok Office organized the Experts Meeting as a follow-up activity to the 2003 Asia-Pacific regional workshop to introduce and discuss the implementation of the 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage that was held in Hong Kong SAR China in January 2003. During the Hong Kong Workshop, the 2001 Convention was comprehensively examined in detail, emphasizing legal, curatorial and archaeological aspects. Delegates to the Hong Kong Workshop formulated and unanimously adopted an Action Agenda for the Implementation of the Convention in the Asia-Pacific Region to combat the continuous looting of underwater cultural heritage by treasure hunters.


Structured as a workshop, the Experts Meeting in Galle aims to provide a platform for policy makers, legal experts and professional experts/ archaeologists to revisit the 2001 Convention  and to discuss and formulate practical road maps for the ratification of the 2001 Convention and the adoption of Rules of the Annex to the Convention in the administrative systems of Member States. The Meeting also aims to operationalize and set a timetable for the implementation of the 2003 Action Agenda for the Asia-Pacific Region.


To provide useful insights on the practical application of the 2001 Convention and to set the tone for the Experts Meeting, UNESCO organized a separate activity in Galle to precede the Experts Meeting - the UNESCO-ICCROM Asian Academy for Heritage Management (AAHM) Field School on the theme of “Cultural Impact Assessment and Maritime Archaeology” which was held in Galle, Sri Lanka from 1-9 April 2007 (http://www.unescobkk.org/index.php?id=4944). The case study outputs of the AAHM Field School on the impact of potential development plans on the maritime resources of Galle were presented to the delegates during the opening day of the Experts Meeting.