International Conference "Underwater Activity 2011", 15th - 16th December, Moscow

Science 09.01.2012

From the 15th to the 16th December in Moscow in the building of the Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, for the third time since 2004 a Scientific and Practical Conference of specialists and amateurs of underwater activity was held. The Conference was devoted to summarizing the results of many years of work of specialists and amateurs in the field of underwater activity and to strengthening the cooperation of scientific institutions with clubs and dive centers.

32 reports of experts from 5 countries were presented to participants of the Conference. The reports were devoted to the underwater cultural heritage, protection of the water environment, marine scientific and educational programs, to underwater and marine ecological tourism, underwater equipment and methods of underwater researches, expedition work of the dive centers and clubs, medical aspects of underwater activity. A total of one hundred persons took part in the Conference.

The Conference was held under the aegis of CMAS represented by the Confederation of underwater activity of Russia (CRASA), the Moscow State University named after Lomonosov and Institute of Oceanology named after Shirshov with patronage of Marine Board at the Government of the Russian Federation and with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO.

The Conference was welcomed by letters from the CMAS President, the Secretariat of the 2001 Convention of UNESCO on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage and from the Vice-Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, Mr. S. Ivanov. President of the CMAS Scientific Committee, Mr. Hassen Baccouche took part in the Conference. The general management of the Conference was carried out by the CRASA President, Mr. V. Stashevskiy.

Adopted by CRASA in connection with a decade of the Convention of UNESCO “Declaration on Preservation of the Cultural Underwater Heritage of Russia” and the mechanism of accession to it, as well as the discussion of UNESCO Code of Ethics for Diving on Submerged Archaeological Sites caused special interest.

The content of reports and scientific discussions both in the conference hall and in the lobby have shown that the problem of protection of the underwater cultural heritage worries not only experts but also the underwater community at large in Russia.
It was noted that within the frameworks of CRASA Scientific Committee activity it is necessary to work out a unified form of notification the bodies of the Ministry of Culture about finds of underwater cultural heritage objects and to start meeting the growing interest of the citizens of our country to the national history.

CRASA Scientific Committee has supported a proposal of the President of CMAS Scientific Committee to include a general introductory course on underwater cultural heritage into training of divers. Such course would be of a general educational nature and would not require a long process of learning. Thus we would come back to a traditional form of education in a shape of public scientific lectures. The appearance of technological aspects of protection became a new element in reports on underwater cultural heritage at the Conference. New ideas were proposed upon use of geophysical methods of work with submerged objects, prospective approaches in organization of the process of conservation of big elements of wooden ships, concepts of creation of underwater historical and cultural parks for public.

At the closing ceremony of the Conference President of the CRASA rewarded President of the CMAS Scientific Committee, Mr. Hassen Baccouche with a medal “For contribution to underwater activity”. The speakers were presented with diplomas.

A collection of scientific works will be published on the results of the Conference.

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