Fishing boats on sandy shore against sea

How can past and present human-ocean interactions help us achieve the ocean we want?

The Cultural Heritage Framework Programme (CHFP) is an endorsed action of the UN Decade for Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-30), and is the first and only UN-level global platform bringing marine heritage practitioners together with ocean science and policy stakeholders. To date, it is the only endorsed UN Ocean Decade programme focused on cultural heritage.

At the core of CHFP is the view that marine cultural heritage, including intangible heritage such as traditional and ecological knowledge and practices, and tangible heritage such as shipwrecks and coastal structures, represents an essential medium through which we can provide informed solutions to future challenges, develop resilience, and motivate inclusive sustainable adaptation.

The Cultural Heritage Framework Programme (CHFP) is coordinated by the University of Edinburgh on behalf of the Ocean Decade Heritage Network (ODHN).

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Men push raft out to sea

Bringing together
marine heritage

ocean science
& policy

Woman on beach, carries bundled sticks on her head
Maasai sitting by the ocean on the beach
Madagascar Tsifota-right Nossa Senhora
Man fishing in stone tidal weir
Two men filming on beach


The ‘ocean we want’ will be inspired and informed by the long and diverse histories and living heritage of people and the sea.

Cultural heritage can and will contribute effectively to sustainable development over the course of the UN Ocean Decade. The impacts of Decade Actions relating to cultural heritage will be greater together than they would be individually.

CHFP drives measurable change by:






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