The Conference runs by volunteers who come from various backgrounds, including government agents, researchers, and students. The Conference is credited by the following oraganizations.
National Marine Sanctuary Foundation
The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, a non-profit organization based in the U.S., was created to assist the federally managed National Marine Sanctuary Program with education and outreach programs designed to preserve, protect and promote meaningful opportunities for public interaction with the nation’s marine sanctuaries.
NOAA’s initiative on underwater cultural heritage protection
NOAA’s Maritime Heritage Program, created in 2002, is an initiative of the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS). The program focuses on maritime heritage resources within the thirteen designated National Marine Sanctuary sites and one Marine National Monument, and it also promotes maritime heritage appreciation throughout the entire nation.
Maritime heritage is a broad legacy that includes not only physical resources, such as historic shipwrecks and prehistoric archaeological sites, but also archival documents, oral histories, and traditional seafaring and ecological knowledge of indigenous cultures. The vision of the Maritime Heritage Program is that a broad spectrum of Americans will be engaged in the stewardship and appreciation of our national maritime heritage.
As with natural resources, numerous user and interest groups, from archaeologists to recreational divers, seek to interact with maritime heritage resources in many different ways (exploration, photography, excavation, etc.). These resources also are impacted by natural factors such as storms, currents and corrosion. Therefore, responsible, informed decisions must be made on how to manage these resources for the enjoyment and appreciation of current and future generations. Maritime heritage resources, unlike living resources, are nonrenewable, so it is especially important that we protect these important links to our past.
Maritime heritage resources, when properly studied and interpreted, add an important dimension to our understanding and appreciation of our nation’s rich maritime legacy, and make us more aware of the critical need for us to be wise stewards of our ocean planet.
The Assistant Director-General for Culture, Francesco Bandarin, on behalf of the Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova granted UNESCO patronage for the Inaugural Asia-Pacific regional conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage organized by the Asian Academy of Heritage Management (AAHM) which took place from 8 to 12 November 2011 in Manila, Philippines. The official letter is available here.
The Conference conformed to the approaches to underwater cultural heritage contained within the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (UNESCO Convention 2001). The 2001 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (UNESCO Convention 2001) entered into force on 2 January 2009 and provides the basis for international cooperation and exchange of knowledge about underwater cultural heritage. For more information about Underwater Cultural Heritage click here and for the new Tutorial on the Rules concerning activities directed at Underwater Cultural Heritage click here.
The Asian Academy for Heritage Management
The Asian Academy for Heritage Management (AAHM) is a network of institutions for cultural heritage based in Asia and the Pacific region. AAHM was a key host organization the Inaugural Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage in 2011.