Towards STAMP approach based protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage
Systems-Theoretic Accident Modelling and Processes (STAMP)
According to the UN Law of the Sea Convention (LOSC), states have the duty to protect objects of an archaeological and historical nature found at sea and shall cooperate for this purpose. The 2001 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage stipulates that in-situ preservation of underwater cultural heritage (i.e. on the seabed) must be considered as the first and preferred option before allowing or engaging in any activities directed at this heritage. To prevent incidental damage the State Party shall use the best practicable means at its disposal to prevent or mitigate any adverse effects that might arise from activities under its jurisdiction incidentally affecting underwater cultural heritage. A Systems-Theoretic Accident Modelling and Processes (STAMP) approach to operational safety management considers accident occurrence as the result of a lack of, or inadequate enforcement of, constraints imposed on the system design and operations at various system levels. The objective of this study in progress is to apply the STAMP based Systems-Theoretic Process Analysis (STPA) to identify the system level hazards and potentially unsafe ship anchoring control actions incidentally affecting and damaging underwater cultural heritage objects in the Estonian national Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) Centre sea area in the Gulf of Finland, Baltic Sea. The physical damage to underwater monuments and heritage conservation areas caused by anchoring of ship is identified as an accident (an undesired and unplanned loss event) and the legal protection and preservation restrictions applicable to underwater monuments and the protected zone thereof are considered to be the underwater cultural heritage protection and preservation constraints to be enforced. The critical role of VTS in effective hazard control actions and the enforcement of preventive constraints in real time is identified.
Source: University of Tartu
Pictures copyright: University of Tartu & Estonian Maritime Administration