Scuba Diving in Jamaica

November 8, 2007 by Scuba Herald 

Jamaica is being considered a possible site for the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Underwater Cultural Heritage Regional Centre. Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange, told JIS News that Jamaica is at the “top of the list” of countries to host the regional centre, which will serve the Caribbean and Latin America.

Miss Grange, who spoke to JIS News recently in London, following discussions at the UNESCO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, explained that the regional centre will be charged with the protection of the world’s underwater heritage. She said the country selected to host the centre will take the lead in developing programmes and concepts or interventions to protect underwater heritage sites.

Miss Grange said that UNESCO’s Assistant Director General for Culture, Françoise Rivière, indicated that she is aware of Jamaica’s potential in hosting the centre. She also expressed knowledge of Jamaica underwater heritage and the work that the country has done in preserving this heritage.

The UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, adopted on November 2, 2001 by the UNESCO General Conference, defines the underwater cultural heritage as encompassing “all traces of human existence having a cultural, historical or archaeological character, which have been partially or totally under water, periodically or continuously, for at least 100 years”.

These include sites, structures, buildings, artefacts and human remains, together with their archaeological and natural context; vessels, aircraft, other vehicles or any part thereof, their cargo or other contents, together with their archaeological and natural context; and objects of prehistoric character.

The underwater cultural heritage is enormously rich and has immense potential. In recent years, it has attracted increasing attention from the scientific community and the general public.

It represents an invaluable source of information on ancient civilizations and offers an opportunity to further develop diving activities, museums and tourism. However, looting and destruction of these sites have increased over the years and threaten to deprive humanity of this legacy, UNESCO has said.

Jamaica’s Port Royal, which was destroyed by earthquake in 1692, is listed among UNESCO’s famous underwater ruins.

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One Response to “Scuba Diving in Jamaica”

  1. Mark on September 18th, 2008 10:24 am

    Great post ! I want to know when you update your blog, where can i subscribe to your blog? :) :) :)

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