The ethics behind climate change: Small Island Developing States in the Pacific as new underwater cultural heritage

Dublin Core


The ethics behind climate change: Small Island Developing States in the Pacific as new underwater cultural heritage


Predictions forecast changes in climate that may affect underwater cultural heritage in the future. Warmer waters mean more chemical changes and the proliferation of teredo navalis. Ocean currents may cause disturbances to the layer of sediment protecting underwater cultural heritage sites. The rises in sea levels would reduce the amount of time an air-breathing diver can safely spend under water and hence their productivity. Rises would also mean expansion, which could raise the problem of ocean delimitation. Also our land tangible cultural heritage will be submerged: entire nations and their cultural heritage may disappear, an issue affecting mostly the Small Island Developing States -many of them in the Pacific-, more vulnerable to rises in sea levels. Their identity as citizens of their cities, as members of a community with their own tangible past, complete with their cultural heritage, will disappear. Their land heritage will become underwater cultural heritage but for more than 100 years will not be protected under the 2001 UNESCO Convention. This paper will look at climate change in these Asia-Pacific communities from the ethics as a core element and will study the introduction of these flooded areas as new underwater cultural heritage, proposing an AsiaPacific values-orientated qualification of underwater cultural heritage as a natural resource.


Elena Perez-Alvaro


The Museum of Underwater Archaeology




Elena Perez-Alvaro




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