The draft Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage was adopted on November 6 by the United Nations cultural organization UNESCO. The convention covers activities directed at sunken ships and other "traces of human existence" that have been submerged for at least 100 years (MPA News 3:3). Among parties to the convention, no activity directed at such heritage may occur without a permit. The convention will now be submitted to UNESCO member nations for ratification; if adopted by a two-thirds majority of member nations, the convention will become international law, at least for its signatories. For more information: http://www.unesco.org/culture/legalprotection.
The results of MPA News's reader challenge to name the oldest marine protected area in the world (MPA News 3:3) will be published in next month's issue.