Case study 9 Maritime 2: Supporting capacity building in underwater cultural heritage management in the Pacific
To help maintain the rich underwater archaeological sites in the Asia-Pacific region, in February 2011 the department sponsored Mr Elia Nakoro of Fiji to attend the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation Third Foundation Course on Underwater Cultural Heritage in Chanthaburi, Thailand.
The course is a regional training platform to facilitate the training of underwater archaeological site managers and conservation professionals from Asia and the Pacific. It helps build regional capacities so that countries in the Asia-Pacific region can protect and manage their own underwater archaeological sites.
Expert trainers are a critical part of the process. UNESCO Bangkok asked department officer Andrew Viduka, a qualified maritime archaeologist and archaeological objects conservator, to be an expert trainer at the Third Foundation Course in Thailand. Andrew delivered seminars on Material Culture Analysis, Finds Handling and Conservation, and Introduction to Intrusive Archaeology. The course was attended by 20 trainees from 11 different countries in the Asia-Pacific, Central Asia and Africa regions including Laos, Bangladesh, Fiji, India, Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan and Thailand.