SOC: Petra (Jordan)
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.