1.         Petra (Jordan) (C 326)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1985

Criteria  (i)(iii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/326/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1987-2010)
Total amount approved: USD 167,079
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/326/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided: USD 1 million from the Italian Fund-in-Trust

Previous monitoring missions

September 2000: ICOMOS mission; March 2004: UNESCO mission; 2009: UNESCO technical expert missions; December 2010: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission.

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/326/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2013

The State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property on 1 February 2013 in response to the decision of the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011). It provides detailed information on the on-going wide range of initiatives for the conservation, protection and management of the property.

a)         Management arrangements and resources for operation

The Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA), the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA) and the Department of Antiquities (DoA) have strengthened working relationships and launched a series of initiatives inserted within the Petra Archaeological Park (PAP) Operational Priorities Plan (2010-2015). This was developed as a reference to articulate actions on the core functional areas of the Park, with a particular focus on conservation, protection, visitor experience, services, facility operations, maintenance and management, while the management plan is being developed. Capacity building remains a pressing need; therefore a technical training component will be included in the management plan. A Petra Advisory Committee was set up in January 2013 to review project proposals and defined priorities. Technical task force groups have been created to advise specific initiatives and a Park Ranger Force has been established. A local cooperative, comprised of representatives from six adjacent communities has been formed to engage local residents in activities at the property. The Park’s Management has benefited from various technical and financial sources and a policy is in place to allocate 10% of the 35% of the collected revenues for maintenance of the property. With the definition of the operational programme, additional funding sources will be identified to secure the resources for the implementation of the conservation and management plans. In the meantime, the Strategic Master Plan for the Petra Region, mentioned in the State Party’s report, identifies priority action planning for the entire region for the next 20 years. The enforcement of this Plan with regard to the PAP area and its buffer zone remains unclear.

b)         Risk management plan for the property

For the development of the comprehensive risk management plan, actions implemented include the completion of the pilot methodology study for the core risk mapping, the preliminary conservation plan risk assessment, and the Siq detailed assessment. Within the Petra risk mapping project, the boundaries of the property have been identified and physically mapped for the first time. Based on the results, a Disaster Risk Reduction Plan will be drafted and integrated within the Strategic Master Plan for the Petra Region. Monitoring techniques for assessing the stability of the Siq have been identified. No timeframe for the completion of the Disaster Risk Reduction Plan has been provided.

c)          Integrated conservation plan

The preparation of the Petra Conservation Plan was launched in March 2012 and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2013. Other planning tools have also been updated, including: the Heritage Site Inventory and Management System Database, the Petra Regional Master Plan 2011-2030 (which identifies potential zoning in urban and non-urban areas), the Visitor Trails Improvement Plan, the Environmental and Social Impact assessment for the back road rehabilitation proposal. Their results will be integrated in the management plan.

d)         Archaeological excavations

The DoA, in consultation with PDTRA, halted specific excavations and issued excavation directives to all active archaeological projects to undertake conservation, safety and interpretative measures as a priority to rectify past deficiencies. Archaeological research and excavation regulations, as well as new application guidelines, have been drafted and are currently in the process of legal review, along with new national regulations.

e)         Buffer zone for the property

Planning studies and a consultative process have been undertaken to define the buffer zone of the PAP, following on from the work undertaken as part of the Petra Regional Master Plan and UNESCO Amman’s delineation for preliminary guidelines. The legal and regulatory definition of the delineated areas is currently in progress and takes the newly developed boundaries as the reference. The PAP Buffer Zone Plan will be developed to define implementation stages. Completion is expected in May 2013.

f)           Other issues


Other initiatives for the conservation and management of the property reported on include conservation of the Beidha Neolithic site, conservation and maintenance of the Petra (Byzantine) Church, rehabilitation of the Wadi al-Jarra Dam and the development of regulations for site use. Development initiatives to enhance Park services and amenities, such as the renewable energy project, the back road rehabilitation, the creation of restroom facilities, the rehabilitation of the visitor centre, interpretive signage and site maps, e-ticketing system, emergency clinic and an animal awareness campaign have also been undertaken.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies note actions implemented by the State Party in line with the decisions of the World Heritage Committee and the recommendations of the 2010 reactive monitoring mission. They would like to underscore the need to sustain these efforts to comprehensively address long-standing concerns, particularly in relation to the efficacy of the management system, conservation of archaeological remains and visitor management and public use.

Decision Adopted: 37 COM 7B.50

The World Heritage Committee,

1.  Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/7B,

2.  Recalling Decision 35 COM 7B.49 , adopted at its 35th session (UNESCO, 2011),

3.  Acknowledges the information provided by the State Party on the implementation of conservation and management measures to address existing conditions at the property;

4.  Urges the State Party to sustain on-going efforts, with particular attention to the following:

a)  Finalize the delineation of the buffer zone and develop adequate regulatory measures to ensure its protection, and submit a minor boundary modification proposal by 1 February 2014 for review by the World Heritage Committee at its 38th session in 2014,

b)  Finalize the Petra Conservation Plan and develop a comprehensive Management Plan for the property, building on previous documents and ensuring synergies with existing planning initiatives; ensure official endorsement of existing plans (e.g. Operational Priorities Plan 2010-2015 or the Strategic Master Plan 2011-2030) by the governing bodies; submit all completed plans related to the conservation and management of the property for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, and undertake the necessary adoption process to ensure their effective enforcement,

c)  Finalize the development of the Disaster Risk Reduction Plan and secure the necessary resources for its implementation, prioritising the stabilization of the Siq,

d)  Finalize the development of a visitor management strategy, including regulations for public use, in consideration of the carrying capacity of the property,

e)  Identify priority capacity building needs and implement the necessary measures to address them,

f)   Ensure that Heritage Impact Assessments, in relation to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, are carried out for development works foreseen, and submit, in accordance to Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines , project proposals and their technical specifications to the World Heritage Centre for review prior to committing to their implementation;

5.  Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2015 , an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session in 2015.

Decision Adopted: 37 COM 8D

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-13/37.COM/8D,

2. Recalling Decision 36 COM 8D, adopted at its 36th session (Saint Petersburg, 2012),

3. Acknowledges the excellent work accomplished by States Parties in the clarification of the delimitation of their World Heritage properties and thanks them for their efforts to improve the credibility of the World Heritage List;

4. Recalls that the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies will not be able to examine proposals for minor or significant modifications to boundaries of World Heritage properties whenever the delimitation of such properties as inscribed is unclear;

5. Takes note of the clarifications of property boundaries and areas provided by the following States Parties in response to the Retrospective Inventory, as presented in the Annexes of Document WHC-13/37.COM/8D:

6. Requests the States Parties which have not yet answered the questions raised in the framework of the Retrospective Inventory to provide all clarifications and documentation as soon as possible and by 1 December 2013 at the latest.