Home News Eleventh Meeting of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Body - STAB, 14th -15th September 2020

Eleventh Meeting of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Body - STAB, 14th -15th September 2020

 

The eleventh meeting of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Body to the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (STAB) was held online from 14th-15th September 2020. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Toufik Hamoum (Algeria) and was attended by 12 STAB members (Albania, Argentina, Bulgaria, Egypt, France, Morocco, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama, Slovenia, Togo, South Africa) and 50 representatives of Member States and the Secretariat. Among the main topics of the meeting were the Secretariat Report, an overview of the activities undertaken since the last STAB extraordinary meeting held in October 2019 in Algiers, STAB missions reports in Guatemala and the launch of a new mission in Paraguay, amendments to the Operational Guidelines of the Convention regarding the interpretation of the in situ protection, proposal of a new application form for example of best practices of underwater cultural heritage, the draft selection criteria for a “Heroes of Heritage initiative” and the evaluation  of  the  2001  Convention undertaken by the International Oversight Service and its Recommendations.


Due to extraordinary circumstances (epidemiological situation caused by the COVID-19 virus) it was decided to extend the mandate of the Bureau members for one year.


STAB will be involved in marking the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).
Two regional meetings were organized – ‘’Forum on the safeguarding of the shared maritime cultural heritage of Southeast Asia, Jakarta & Belitung, Indonesia’’ in November 2019 and the Training on underwater archaeology for African countries, Mozambique Islands in December 2019.

 

On the occasion of World Oceans Day celebrated on 8th June 2020, a webinar “The Ocean’s Past – Underwater Archaeology and Ocean Science” was organized by Secretariat, STAB,  the  Ocean  Decade Heritage  Network and  Alexandria  University  (Egypt)  in  preparation  of  the  UN Decade  of  Ocean  Science.


The  webinar was followed by over 400 participants and stressed the importance of underwater cultural heritage for today’s world and for connecting people to the ocean.


A webinar on “Safeguarding Underwater Cultural Heritage: Perspectives from India” is scheduled to take place on 24th September 2020 on the occasion of World Maritime Day.


Since October 2019, the 2001 Convention was ratified additionally by four countries (Switzerland, Niue, Oman and Senegal) which makes a total of 65 States Parties to the Convention.


The Convention celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2021, and the possibility of organizing a side event on the margin of the next Meeting of States Parties to the Convention is being considered.


A report was submitted on the first virtual meeting of the Coordinating Committee for the Protection of Skerki Banks (an important archaeological discovery on the border of Italy, Tunisia and Sicily) which was held online on 3rd September 2020 and was attended by representatives of the countries involved in the project (Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Italy, Spain, France and Croatia). The next meeting will be held in Tunisia in 2021 and STAB members will be invited.


Croatia, as a State Party to the Convention, joined in 2019 the initiative for the protection of underwater heritage in the area of Skerki Banks and was represented by the ICUA Zadar Director Mladen Pešić at the Coordinating Committee meeting.

 

 

 

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