Video interview with Session 11 chair Bill Jeffery.

Dublin Core


Video interview with Session 11 chair Bill Jeffery.


Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH) from World War II is extensive throughout the Asia/Pacific Region. It encompasses numerous warships from many Nations, thousands of merchant ships commissioned to support the war effort, and also many other types of sites and objects such as aircraft, docks, lighthouses. A database of World War II shipwrecks for the Asia/Pacific Region stands at around 3,800 and many of them have not been explored. In 2014, World War I’s underwater cultural heritage will begin to fall under the full scope of the 2001 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, and although it will be several more years for World War II sites to fulfill the Convention’s 100 year-old provision, sections of the Convention such as the Annex are now applicable in their management.
The UCH relating to WW II has a great historical importance. It is a reminder of the existence of the war and its horrible consequences. The majority of the UCH lying on the seabed are also grave sites still containing human remains. One of the goals of preservation and research must therefore be to make the public understand their historic significance and to raise the public awareness of the historical testimony these remains constitute. Many World War II sites are also popular diving sites, lending themselves to cultural tourism, and through effective in situ management and interpretation, they are significant sites in conveying many stories and reaching many people.
The UCH of WW II are an important historical source of information. They can represent the peak of technology at that time. They can also contain multi-vocal values—different groups of people perceiving and valuing them differently—particularly in regard to local indigenous communities who were innocent bystanders in the war but their world, their culture and heritage changed forever. The management of UCH relating to World War II contributes to the efforts in undertaking research reminding present and future generations of the importance of peace.
The objectives of the session are to:

• Advance knowledge of related UCH in the Pacific,

• Identify priority actions in terms of research, preservation and education,
• Foster partnership for regional and international cooperation.


Bill Jeffery





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