The third Asia-Pacific Conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage will be held in Hong Kong – at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum – from 27 November to 2 December 2017 (Excursions 1-2 December). The conference has grown significantly since 2011 when 128 delegates from 35 nations attended in Manila and in 2014 when 180 delegates attended representing 40 nations.
The Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on UCH aims to address 21st-century management and protection strategies of UCH in Asia and the countries of the Indian and Pacific Oceans and facilitate regional cooperation through the development of academic, non-governmental organisation (NGO) and governmental networks in the Asia-Pacific region. The conference is a forum for discussion of technical and ethical issues related to underwater cultural heritage and underwater archaeology.
The 2017 conference will discuss – among other topics – issues associated with the ratification of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage 2001. With Cambodia the only country that has ratified the Treaty in the Asia-Pacific Region, and given the region’s reputation for illegal or unethical procedures, broader adoption of the Treaty and its principles is imperative. Asia contains diverse and significant underwater cultural heritage, including intangible and tangible underwater cultural heritage that dates back thousands of years and is still part of cultural practices of many contemporary communities. Regional UCH relates to trade between China, India, Africa, the Middle East and Europe, such as the Maritime Silk Road, and are of significant historical importance.
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