UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage: Next steps for the UK government

Article date: 6 Mar 2015, Author: Helen Maclagan, John Gribble, Mike Williams, Sue Davies

Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH) refers to traces of human existence which have been partially or totally underwater, periodically or continuously for at least 100 years.

It forms an integral part of a common global archaeological and historical heritage and can provide invaluable information about culture, economies, migration, and societal inter-relationships.

Underwater Cultural Heritage is a live issue and there is growing pressure on the UK government to act. In the light of the conclusion of the recent Impact Review and the growing number of States who have ratified the UNESCO Convention, it is timely for the UK government to revisit its position.

In this policy brief, the UK National Commission for UNESCO considers the implications for the UK of ratifyng the Convention.