Rising from the Depths


Principal and Co-investigators
Jon Henderson
Luciana Esteves
Isobel Templer
Garry Marvin
Stephanie Wynne-Jones
Colin Breen
Solange Macamo
Annamaria La Chimia
Paul Lane

Research Organisations
University of Nottingham
The British Museum
World Monuments Fund
British Institute of Eastern Africa
Society for Underwater Technology
3deep Media
Eco Africa
Nautical Archaeology Society
Zavora Marine Lab

Funding sources

Scoping case study 1: Creating benefits for local communities from Maritime Museums in Mozambique

Scoping meetings in Mozambique at the Fisheries Museum in Maputo (December 2017) and the Naval Museum at the Ilha de Mocambique (February 2018) identified the need for these institutions to forge practical links with their respective local communities in an effort to offer activities and resources that can be used to benefit them. Both museums have been constructed or restored with international development aid funding, and they share a mission that includes attracting foreign tourist audiences as well as catering for domestic audiences. Capacity and activities to local domestic audiences is currently lacking.  As with many other museums across the world that have been funded by international development organisations, there is a need for research on the actual benefits that these maritime institutions offer to their communities.

Through our meetings and the Network meeting held in Eduardo Mondalne University, Maputo, on February 2018, the Rising from the Depth network facilitated contacts between these maritime museums and the Instituto Superior de Artes e Cultura (ISArC) in Mozambique to develop community engagement with museums and maritime heritage in Mozambique.

In the first funding call, a small project grant was awarded to Early Career Researcher Dr Rosalie Hans at the University of Nottingham and Daniel Inoque at ISArC. The project, entitled Making Maritime Museums Matter in Mozambique, aims to to scope the current cultural, economic and social impact these maritime museums have on their communities, and to co-create potential ways of increasing the museums’ relevance. The research will lead to knowledge exchange between the museums, the communities and the Rising from the Depths network on how to improve the museums’ outreach, thus increasing feelings of ownership as well as recognising the importance of the community’s identity and maritime culture. The research will take place over one month, with 14 days spent in each museum location where community meetings will take place and interviews with stakeholders conducted.  The project will work with community members on generating new ideas to make the museums work for them, aiming to enhance the impact of the museums locally. It is intended that this small study will provide a step towards making the two investigated maritime museums more relevant and useful to their surrounding maritime communities by refocusing their mission on improving quality of life locally rather than the fraught promise of generating economic growth through cultural tourism.

Scoping case study 2: Coastal hazards and marine heritage in East Africa

Scoping work, carried out at Bournemouth University by PDRA Cari Ballesteros and CoI Dr Luciana Esteves, is modelling the present and future effects of coastal changes on marine heritage sites in East Africa. This work will provide valuable information to coastal mangers and potential investors in East Africa and inform decision-making on measures relevant to the conservation of coastal and maritime cultural heritage. Coastal areas are exposed to multiple natural hazards, and their impacts and frequency are expected to increase as a result of climate change and anthropogenic pressures. This poses a serious risk to coastal populations, who have settled along the shoreline over time because of milder climate, trading, fishing and natural resources. In East Africa, the relationship between society and the sea has created an important and rich cultural heritage, which can benefit local communities in working towards a sustainable development. However, coastal developments and new investments (e.g. mining, oil and gas extraction, ports, tourism) coupled with climate change and poor planning and coastal management are having serious negative impacts on the livelihoods of coastal communities, which strongly depend on the natural environment.

A number of indices have been created for the assessment of climate change, natural hazards and social vulnerabilities in coastal areas. Our scoping work represents one of the first attempts to apply such indices to East Africa. Additionally, existing approaches have not considered the contribution of human-induced coastal change and its impacts on maritime cultural heritage. Within this context, this work is developing an exposure index for coastal change in East Africa, considering the main coastal hazards, anthropogenic drivers and physical and social coastal characteristics.

As a first stage, an Exposure Index to coastal erosion and inundation has been calculated at a regional scale considering four physical variables (relief, waves, winds and potential surge) and the role of coastal habitats (mangrove, coral reef and seagrass) in offering natural protection against erosion and inundation (Figure 1). This Index was calculated using the Integrated Valuation of Environmental Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) model (Sharp et al 2018), an open-source tool. In the next stages, these results will be integrated with erosion rates and census data, as well as information about coastal projects (e.g. port developments, restoration projects, fuel extraction activities), which can increase/decrease in the level of exposure to coastal change. The integration of the Exposure Index to coastal change and cultural heritage sites will identify the locations and assets most at risk, which should be prioritised for more detailed analysis.