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Journal of Maritime Archaeology

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 333–354 | Cite as

Building Knowledge and Connections: The Success of the UNESCO International Capacity Building Training Programmes for Cultural Heritage Management of Underwater Archaeological Sites

  • Christopher J. UnderwoodEmail author
  • Martijn Manders
Original Paper

Abstract

Many countries do not have sufficient professional capacity to manage its underwater cultural heritage (hereafter UCH) or fulfil its research objectives. To address this situation, which is acute in some countries, since 2009 UNESCO has, in partnership with heritage organisations, facilitated professional training in a number of locations, notably Argentina, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Mexico, Spain, St. Eustatius, Thailand and Vietnam. Although there are similarities these courses differ in length, content, and sometimes emphasis. What many have in common is the application of teaching units taken from the training syllabus developed in Thailand from 2009, and published as UNESCO’s Training Manual for the UNESCO Foundation Course on the Protection and Management of Underwater Cultural Heritage in Asia and the Pacific. Organisers and trainers have learned important lessons; most importantly that successful training courses comprise more than the sum of the individual teaching components. In particular those international courses that bring together participants from different cultures present their own challenges, not just differences in language, but also other considerations. This paper, using examples from the courses listed above, will illustrate the structure and organisation of UNESCO’s Foundation Course that not only helps to fulfil the specific goals of the professional training, but leaves a lasting legacy that continues to change attitudes to the management and protection of UCH.

Keywords

UNESCO International Capacity building Training Heritage 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the trainers, implementing partners, local, national and international heritage organisations and bodies; the support of UNESCO Paris and specifically its regional offices in Bangkok, Havana, Jamaica, The Hague and Montevideo; ICOMOS–ICUCH (International Committee on the Underwater Cultural Heritage) and the Nautical Archaeology Society for their support, and especially The Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, The Royal Government of Norway and the Kingdom of Spain whose funding enabled the programmes.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Dr. Christopher Underwood declares that he received a grant from the Honor Frost Foundation to cover travel and conference expenses for IKUWA VI, Fremantle, Australia, December 2016, during which he presented a paper on the structure of the UNESCO Foundation Course which is featured in this paper. Dr. Martijn Manders declares he has no conflict of interest in respect of this study.

References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Nacional de Antropología y Pensamiento LatinoamericanoBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE)AmersfoortThe Netherlands

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