Amer Khan
UNESCO Training Project Journal

28 March 2008
By Amer Khan

Project Introduction

To assist in the protection of underwater cultural heritage in the Asia-Pacific region the Office of the UNESCO Regional Advisor for Culture in Asia and the Pacific is organizing a training-of-trainers field school programme for Sri Lankan maritime archaeologists and conservators to be conducted in Galle, Sri Lanka from March 20th to April 8th, 2008. This training-of-trainers course is designed to prepare a Sri Lankan Team for their future role as lead trainers in future training programmes for trainees coming from participating Member States in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Galle Fort lighthouse.

The Galle Fort lighthouse (Image courtesy of the Central Cultural Fund).

The training activity is the initial training programme under the UNESCO regional project entitled "Building Regional Capacities to Protect and Manage Underwater Archaeological Sites through the Establishment of a Regional 'Centre of Excellence' Field Training Facility and Programme of Instruction", which is being funded by the Royal Government of Norway under the UNESCO-Norway Funds-in-Trust Cooperation.

This 3-year project aims to protect the underwater cultural heritage by building regional capacities to protect and manage underwater archaeological sites through the establishment of a regional “Centre of Excellence” Field Training Facility and Programme of Instruction. The project was formulated in response to the recommendation of delegates and experts during the Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop to discuss the protection of the underwater cultural heritage, held in Hongkong, SAR China in November 2003.

The 2008 training-of-trainers programme follows an initial training-of-trainers programme organized in Sri Lanka in March 2006. A total of 14 participants, maritime archaeologists and conservators from the Central Cultural Fund, the Department of Archaeology, the Department of National Museums, and the Sri Lankan Navy will be taking part in the field school. The curriculum will include a series of lectures and workshops followed by a two week field session.

The Galle Fort in Sri Lanka.

The Galle Fort in Sri Lanka (Photo courtesy of the Central Cultural Fund).

The following sites will be investigated during the field school.

This online journal is intended to provide regular updates on the activities of the participants during the course of the field school. It is hoped that this journal enables others interested in maritime archaeology, capacity development activities of UNESCO, or the protection of underwater cultural heritage, to follow our activities over the next few weeks. Please check back for regular updates and send us your comments.

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