The Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Ms Anna-Lisa Nghipondoka will officially open a meeting that discusses the protection of shipwrecks and other objects submerged under waters of the sea.

The General Conference of UNESCO adopted the 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage on 2 November 2001.

The convention intends to protect “all traces of human existence having a cultural, historical or archaeological character” which have been under the water for over 100 years.

In this context, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture and the Namibian National Commission for UNESCO (NATCOM) will host the regional meeting on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage in Africa.

The two-day meeting will be held virtually from the 10th March to 11 March 2021.

The meeting will contribute to UNESCO’s continued efforts to improve Member States capacities in protecting their submerged heritage, such as shipwrecks, sunken structures and offering sites.

Speakers will include representatives of national authorities, leading archaeologists, senior cultural heritage experts, historians or conservators from the African region.

The discussions will revolve around the current status of Underwater Heritage, best practices and studies on how best to protect it as well as how to promote intersectoral and international cooperation.

The meeting will further investigate how to establish inventories based on the standard UNESCO inventory sheet.