Protecting and Preserving the Underwater Cultural Heritage in the Philippines: A Background Paper

Dublin Core

Title

Protecting and Preserving the Underwater Cultural Heritage in the Philippines: A Background Paper

Subject

Session 12:
Some Challenges and Issues in Underwater Cultural Heritage in Southeast Asia

Description

The archipelagic nature of the Philippines and its strategic maritime location in the South China Sea gives an indication of the country’s significant underwater cultural heritage. Indigenous and foreign watercraft dating from the 3rd century C.E. has been discovered, excavated, exhibited and published by the National Museum of the Philippines and in collaboration with local and foreign research entities.

However, the management and protection of this cultural heritage is far from perfect. Inadequate financial support from the government, weak legislation and enforcement and lack of qualified personnel are cited as some of the reasons. This is coupled with the ever active threat of pillage and destruction from treasure hunters, illegal fishing methods and the dive tourism industry. As such, the National Museum’s role as the leading government agency tasked with the conduct and management of the country’s underwater cultural heritage and the advance of underwater archaeology to an academic practice remains a challenge.

The introduction of the 2001 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region through the Regional Workshop in Hong Kong in 2003 with the aim of ratification has been an uphill battle, with Cambodia the only country to ratify the said convention in the Southeast Asian region thus far. This paper examines the impact of the 2001 Convention in the Philippines and examines the prospects for its ratification.

Creator

Bobby C. Orillaneda
Wilfredo P. Ronquillo

Date

November 2011

Files

Citation

Bobby C. Orillaneda and Wilfredo P. Ronquillo, “Protecting and Preserving the Underwater Cultural Heritage in the Philippines: A Background Paper ,” The MUA Collection, accessed December 15, 2017, http://www.themua.org/collections/items/show/1186.

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