State of Conservation (SOC)
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Total Amount Ap proved:50,000USD
|1987||Contribution towards research work on weathering and subsequent ...||50,000 USD|
April 1994: UNESCO mission
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
Current conservation issues
A UNESCO mission was undertaken to Petra in April 1994. The mission was briefed by the MTA (Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities) on the creation of the Higher Committee for Petra under the authority of the Prime Minister and chaired by the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities. Its purpose was to develop plans for 'the continuous development of tourism in the area of Petra, including Wadi Musa'. The Committee has created a Technical Committee comprising a group of experts whose task will be to establish the framework for a future Petra Authority on the lines of the Aqaba and the Jordan Valley Development Authorities. This Technical Committee has already proposed a series of resolutions aiming to develop tourism infrastructure within the site. Its recommendations include the widening of the service road to the centre of the site, the creation of a bus service from the restaurant, and the expulsion of the Bdul from Um Sayhun. The Minister informed the mission that no decisions would be taken until the final draft of the Management Plan has been discussed and agreed upon with UNESCO.
The Bureau at its eighteenth session was informed in detail of the findings of the UNESCO mission of April 1994, particularly regarding the following items:
- Impact of new hotel projects in the vicinity of Petra
- Sewage disposal project
- Village development
- Conservation of antiquities.
Immediate follow-up of the mission
By letter of 10 May 1994 addressed to the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, UNESCO expressed its concern regarding these different points and requested, in particular, their support in order that the Movenpick Hotel at Wadi Musa remain within the authorized construction limits in accordance with the construction plans previously approved by the Municipality. UNESCO also requested that, in the area of Tayibe and Petra a moratorium be enforced on the construction of all new hotels or facilities until a Master Plan for Petra and its region could be finalized and approved by the Jordanian Government. This Master Plan was available in August 1994 and will serve, among others, to determine the characteristics and the limits of future constructions in order to ensure the integrity of the site.
The World Heritage Bureau during its eighteenth session in July 1994 expressed its grave concern with regard to the preservation of the integrity of the site to the Jordanian authorities (letter of 18 July 1994 sent by the World Heritage Centre) and granted financial support for the convening of a technical meeting on-site, in association with the Jordanian national authorities, national and international agencies involved, the two coordinators of the Master Plan and UNESCO, in order to accelerate the effective implementation of the Master Plan. This technical meeting was scheduled to take place in October 1994 and the Committee will be informed of the outcome during its forthcoming eighteenth session.
The Committee is requested to examine the report of the technical meeting which was scheduled for October 1994 and to consider the necessary actions.
Link to the decision
The Committee was informed of the findings of the UNESCO mission which took place in April 1994, concerning:
- impact of new hotels under construction in the vicinity of the World Heritage site of Petra
- insufficiency or non-existence of sewage disposal facilities
- uncontrolled development of villages in the vicinity of the site
- proliferation of shops
- insufficient conservation of antiquities, and
- other encroachments upon the integrity of the site.
It was informed that the report has already been submitted to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee during its eighteenth session in July 1994 and that the Bureau had already expressed its serious concern to the Jordanian authorities regarding the preservation of the integrity of the site (transmitted by the World Heritage Centre by letter of 18 July 1994) and had approved a request for the organization on site of a technical meeting associating the national authorities, national and international agencies concerned, and the two UNESCO coordinators for the Management Plan in order to accelerate the effective implementation of the Petra National Management Plan.
The Committee was informed that this technical meeting was held in Petra in October 1994 and that it had not resulted in any concrete decisions ensuring the preservation of the site, although the situation at the site had further deteriorated, notably by beginning to build two new hotels near the entrance of the site and the granting of building permits for several others.
The Committee therefore expressed to the Jordanian authorities its serious concern with regard to the degradation of the site.
It requested them to urgently undertake the following:
1) by measure of conservation, the prohibition to build any new hotel in the vicinity of the site;
2) the official creation of the Petra National Park and the implementation of the Petra National Park Management Plan established by UNESCO experts upon request from the national authorities of Jordan, which defines a precise perimeter for the Park, and including the creation of eight protected zones, the creation of a buffer zone in order to control the development of building construction, and establishment of a management authority; and
3) to address the World Heritage Centre before 1 May 1995 a detailed report on the measures that have been undertaken to be submitted to the nineteenth session on the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee.
No draft Decision
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Conservation of antiquities
The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).