Safeguarding Underwater cultural Heritage in the Pacific: Report on Good Practice in the Protection and Management of World War II-related Underwater Cultural Heritage

Safeguarding Underwater cultural Heritage in the Pacific - Report on Good Practice in the Protection and Management of World War II-related Underwater Cultural Heritage

Safeguarding Underwater cultural Heritage in the Pacific: Report on Good Practice in the Protection and Management of World War II-related Underwater Cultural Heritage

coversafeguarding-underwater-cultural-heritage-pacific.jpgThe Pacific region covers about one-third of the total surface area of the Earth and has a long history of human migration and settlement. Beneath the waters of the Pacific Ocean lie traces of human existence, including ancient sunken villages, traditional fish traps of indigenous communities, shipwrecks of missionaries and explorers. The diversity of Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH) in the Pacific demonstrates the strong connection of the people of the Pacific to the ocean and significance for a wide range of communities. Over the years, UNESCO Office for the Pacific States has been assisting Pacific member states to build capacity for UCH management and promoting the UNESCO Convention for the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage in the region.

Under the Pacific Ocean, there is also a large number of shipwrecks and aircraft dated from WWII when the Pacific Ocean became the theatre of some of the fiercest battles of that time. Some of these sites are the final resting place of many lives. Today many of these sites have become popular divine sites for tourists. However, some of the WWII-related UCH are slowing degrading with risks of pollution particularly in the event of severe storms.

In response to the request of Pacific Member States, UNESCO Office for the Pacific States launched a research project to increase an understanding of WWII-related UCH management issues and assist them develop appropriate risk reduction strategies. Leading experts and members of the Pacific UCH Partnership (PUCHP) formed at the International Conference on the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) (Samoa, 2014) were called upon to contribute papers for this publication.

The publication craws together current management and practices and research in five countries of the Pacific region – Australia, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan), Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, and USA (Guam, Hawaii). It highlights the multiple values that WWII-related UCH holds for a diverse range of communities, outlining good practices in protection and management.

The publication including also the photo gallery made available thanks to the Submerged Resources Centre at UN National Park Service is a useful resource for government officials, policymakers, academics and communities engaged in UCH and broad ocean management issues to develop guidelines for the effective and sustainable management of WWII-related UCH in the Pacific.

This publication was made possible by financial assistance from the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund and Tokai University, Japan.

 

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Safeguarding Underwater cultural Heritage in the Pacific: Report on Good Practice in the Protection and Management of World War II-related Underwater Cultural Heritage
Edited by the Pacific Underwater Cultural Heritage Partnership
Apia: UNESCO Apia, 109 p.

SM/C4/17/003-300

 

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