On September 22nd – 23rd, 2016, Dr. Zaki Aslan, Director of ICCROM-ATHAR, and Abdul-Hameed Al-Nassar, Associate Expert of Programs, attended the conference on the 15th anniversary of the implementation of the 2001 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, to aid the meeting’s mission of supporting the reinforcement of the implementation of the 2001 convention.
The conference’s main focus was on the issue of quantification and identification of current threats to underwater cultural heritage, especially regarding commercial exploitation and pillaging. To address said problems, the gathering of international professionals, organizations, institutions, and private entities, drafted recommendations for the member states to adopt as to better tackle threats towards our underwater cultural heritage.
Subsequently, the final recommendations urge member states to adopt stronger laws, licensing and monitoring regulations, and the training of coast guards, port authorities and police forces to allow for better surveillance and information sharing.
It is envisioned that ICCROM’s Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah, UAE (ICCROM-ATHAR) will further collaborate with UNESCO and other relevant parties to address the aforementioned issues.