The UNESCO Chair on the "The Ocean's Cultural Heritage" brings to the spotlight the importance of obtaining knowledge about and the management of tangible and intangible cultural and natural heritage of the open oceans, the underwater realm and the coastlines.
The recently launched UNESCO Chair on the "The Ocean's Cultural Heritage" held by NOVA University is unique worldwide and brings to the spotlight the importance of obtaining knowledge about and the management of tangible and intangible cultural and natural heritage of the open oceans, the underwater realm and the coastlines. Main subjects are medieval and early modern history of oceans underwater archaeology, maritime cultural landscapes, marine environmental history, cultures and societies, environments and resources management. These themes are part of the current international agendas for science, development and cooperation, and the UNESCO Chairs programme offers the adequate framework for the establishment of contacts and of new common and integrated projects. This Chair also aims to enhance the importance of principles such as knowledge sharing, social solidarity and establishing the basis for the development of good practices according with the UNESCO principles. This a collaborative effort to contribute to a better understanding and valuing of maritime culture heritage and local maritime communities, and to its preservation and management through the development of sustainable activities of cultural and natural resources' use by the involved countries. Social sciences and humanities can contribute to inform on multiple societal challenges such as the changing conditions of marine ecosystems, as underwater cultural heritage studies can be used in the context of ocean literacy and climate change. Here different case-studies will be briefly presented in order to highlight the relevance of these disciplines in highly multidisciplinary fields of research, education and outreach related to the construction of the Atlantic as single historic oceanic basin.