Portal de la Cultura de América Latina y el Caribe
The UNESCO Training on the Protection and Management of Underwater Cultural Heritage in Tobago has kicked off!
 
 
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30 November 2023/ UNESCO Offices in Havana and Haiti/Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE)

The UNESCO Foundation Training on the Protection and Management of the Underwater Cultural Heritage for the Caribbean is taking place at Rockley Bay (Tobago), from 20 November to 8 December 2023, organized by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE), the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean (Havana, Cuba), the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean (Kingston, Jamaica) and the UNESCO National Office in Haiti (Port-au-Prince).

This training is financed by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) as part of its International Heritage programme and the UNESCO.

Last week 13 students from the Caribbean started their course on the island of Tobago focused on the management of underwater cultural heritage (UCH) management.

During the opening session speeches were delivered by His Excellency the Ambassador of the Netherlands Cor Hersbach, Dr Charleston Thomas, Sean C. McCoon and Secretary Tashia Grace Burris from the Division of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities & Transportation, Prof. Martijn Manders from the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, and Dr Levis Guy, the Tobago organiser.

Ulrike Guerin from the UNESCO 2001 Convention Secretariat presented on-line the UN-Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) and the work done by the Oceanographic intergouvernamental Commission of UNESCO. The Director of the Kingston UNESCO Office for the Caribbean, Ana Paolini and the Director of the Haiti office, Tatiana Villegas joined the group in representation of UNESCO during the second week of the training. Ms. Villegas presented the UNESCO Convention, its evolution and challenges in the LAC region.

They all underlined the importance of protecting the Underwater Cultural Heritage. They also emphasized that it is important to make sure that there will be a new generation of underwater archaeologists and cultural heritage managers available for the coming decades to take over this challenging task from the first and second generation of underwater archaeologists in the region. A task that is extra challenging due to the climate change, energy transition and sea level rise.

Although Underwater cultural heritage is invisible for most people, it is an important part of the joint Caribbean past, and it links up the area with other parts of the world.

Two archaeologists from the Caribbean, Cimberly Cymister from Curacao and Jasinth Simpson from Jamaica join the training as trainer-trainees. They are being prepared to take up teaching in the near future as well.

The training is coordinated by Prof. Manders and Dr Chris Underwood, president of ICUCH-ICOMOS.

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