The official launch date of the Cooperation Programme is 20 August 2012 (signing date of DG) and extends for an initial period of six years.

The development of the Cooperation Programme will comprise two phases:

Phase One: twinning of the Network’s activities and those of UNESCO aimed at enhancing the protection of cultural objects and the fight against illicit trafficking in them, notably through the promotion and implementation of the 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage;

Phase Two: identification, in close collaboration with the members of the Network and with UNESCO, of ways of extending the Programme to include other participants and/or institutions. All admission of new participants and/or institutions into the Cooperation Programme must be approved by each of the parties concerned.