5th HFF Policy Forum “Archaeology and Marine Development in the eastern Mediterranean”

The Fifth HFF Policy Forum “Archaeology and Marine Development in the eastern Mediterranean” was successfully organized at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt, on 27 April 2023. The meeting was organized in hybrid format to allow some participants and speakers, as well as HFF Trustees and Steering Committee members, to attend the presentations and discussions remotely. The meeting was attended by 47 people, including relevant heritage, petroleum, navy and environmental administrations from the region, notably from Cyprus, Lebanon and Egypt.

The main topics discussed at the 5th HFF Policy Forum were:

  • The Policy Forum provided an exceptional venue to discuss the appropriate course of action towards establishing integrated policies where marine heritage is firmly in the equation. The Forum succeeded in bringing together and boosting dialogue among the different administrations from the target countries. In most cases, these administrations had not initiated dialogue on this subject before and the Forum was the first time that their representatives talked about common interests and joint concerns.
  • The participants agreed on the need to create working groups between administrations (i.e., Petroleum, Navy, Transport, and Culture administrations), companies and heritage practitioners at national level to advance in cross-administration policies and their appropriate implementation.
  • Participants also highlighted the need to develop specific guidelines for data sharing and data specifications to facilitate cooperation and agreements between heritage practitioners and the marine sector.
  • The need for further capacity development within and beyond the heritage circles was also highlighted. Effective training programmes that provide the necessary skills to maritime archaeologists to work within marine development endeavours, as well as tailored trainings addressed to private companies and concerned administrations to ensure heritage preservation and data sharing were deemed urgent.

The organization of the Policy Forum evidenced the need to increase cooperation and awareness with the marine development sector. The need to address companies through national policies and administrations through compulsory awareness workshops and the development of heritage impact assessments, was one of the main points suggested.

As in the previous HFF Policy Fora, a consensus document will be drafted and discussed at the next HFF Steering Committee Meeting in June 2023, and then shared with all participants. This document will guide the future actions and recommendations to lead stakeholders in the better cooperation, dialogue and synergies between the MCH sector and Development.

Further Information:

Final programme of the Policy Forum (PDF Download)

Archaeology and Marine Development in the Eastern Mediterranean: Statement of Common Ground and Recommendations of the Policy Forum


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