Year of inscription on the World Heritage List
Previous Committee Decisions:
See page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475
See page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/475
Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger
Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger
Corrective measures identified
Requests Approved: 0
Total Amount Approved: 50,000USD
|1987||Contribution towards research work on weathering and subsequent protection of the property of Petra||50,000 USD|
UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds
Previous monitoring missions
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.
Decision Adopted: 18COM IX
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.
Decision Adopted: 18BUR VI.B
The Bureau expressed concern following the report presenting the different threats to the integrity of the site of Pétra, especially with regard to:
1) the serious impact of some ten new hotels planned or under construction, both on the visitor capacity of the site, their visibility from the site and the disproportion of several of them in relation to the village habitations, the destruction of archaeological vestiges which they cause, pollution and soil erosion;
2) the negative impact of the pumping station planned for Wadi Musa and its new hotels;
3) the risks caused to the site by projects for the development of residential zones such as those included in the master plan of Wadi Musa, as well as the absence of building specifications and building height restrictions;
4) the necessity of applying existing legislation governing businesses, especially in the proximity of the monuments of the site;
5) the necessity of ensuring proper conservation of the vestiges of the Temple of the Lion and the sculptured blocks scattered throughout the site.
The Bureau agreed to a contribution from the World Heritage Fund to organize, together with the Jordanian authorities, a select meeting of experts at the site to implement the master plan of the site of Pétra as quickly as possible, and to take the necessary measures to ensure by all possible means the preservation of the values of the site.