Ancient fishing practices as part of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the oceans (Source: Pixabay, 2018).
Underwater Cultural Heritage and the Sustainable Development Goals


  • Elena Perez-Alvaro International Council on Monuments and Sites image/svg+xml




Underwater cultural heritage is heritage that is surrounded by water. It can be found in rivers, lakes, oceans and reservoirs, and comprises tangible heritage – wrecks, fishing tools, sunken cities and aircraft – as well as the intangible heritage of many civilizations. However, this heritage is not only part of the past; it can also provide answers to the many challenges that international agendas face today. With its connection to cultural aspects of communities around the world, it offers knowledge that can be helpfully applied to the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations Agenda 2030.

How to Cite

Perez-Alvaro, E. (2023). Underwater Cultural Heritage and the Sustainable Development Goals. Blue Papers, 2(2).





challenges, concepts and new approaches

Author Biography

Elena Perez-Alvaro, International Council on Monuments and Sites

Elena Perez-Alvaro is an expert member of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for the Underwater Cultural Heritage, the ICOMOS International Committee of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and the ICOMOS Sustainable Development Working Group. She is a research associate at Nelson Mandela University (South Africa) and Professor of Cultural and Natural Heritage at UNIR University (Spain). She is also a Blue Shield Representative for ICOM UK to protect cultural heritage in case of conflict including before, during and after natural and human disasters.


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