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Petra

Jordan
Factors affecting the property in 1995*
  • Commercial development
  • Housing
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Solid waste
  • Other Threats:

    Conservation of antiquities

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • 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
  • other encroachments upon the integrity of the site
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1995
Requests approved: 2 (from 1987-1995)
Total amount approved : 79,500 USD
1995 Flash flood control at Petra (Approved)   29,500 USD
1987 Contribution towards research work on weathering and ... (Approved)   50,000 USD
Missions to the property until 1995**

April 1994: UNESCO mission

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1995

During its eighteenth session, the Committee was informed of the different threats (hotel construction near the site, insufficient waste water evacuation systems, uncontrolled urban development, proliferation of shops....) menacing the preservation of the integrity of the site.

By letter of 5 January 1995, the Centre informed the Jordanian authorities of the grave concerns of the Committee and transmitted its requests, notably the prohibition of all new hotel constructions near the site, the official creation of the Petra National Park and the implementation of the Petra National Park Management Plan prepared by UNESCO experts, including the establishment of eight protective zones, a buffer zone and a management authority, and requested them to send to the Centre by 1 May, a full report on the safeguarding measures undertaken.

By letter of 13 March, the Permanent Delegation of Jordan sent the Centre a proposal for an extension of the site under the name Petra Natural and Archaeological Park, of which the boundaries and the different protection zones exactly meet the recommendations of the UNESCO experts, and by letter of 18 March, the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities informed the Centre of a certain number of measures undertaken to improve the protection of the site: limiting the daily intake of visitors and horses, improvement of sanitary arrangements, regrouping of street stalls, recruitment of a refuse team, creation of a centre for stone conservation and a team to study rock erosion, the improvement of some sites through descriptive panels and trails, establishment of a special Bureau to follow up these different projects.

Action Required

The Bureau may wish to adopt the following position: "The Bureau thanks the Jordanian authorities for having undertaken the measures outlined by the Committee without delay and congratulates them on their desire to ensure long-term conservation of the site. In order to have available all the necessary elements for the evaluation of the proposed extension of the site, it requests the authorities to confirm by 1 October that all new hotel construction is now forbidden at Wadi Musa and along the Taybeh road, that the Petra National Park Management Plan will be fully implemented and that a specific management authority will be created at the site."

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1995

During its eighteenth session, the Committee was informed of the different threats (hotel constructions near the site, insufficient waste water evacuation systems, uncontrolled urban development, proliferation of shops....) menacing the preservation of the integrity of the site.

By letter of 5 January 1995, the Centre informed the Jordanian authorities of the grave concerns of the Committee and transmitted its requests, notably the prohibition of all new hotel constructions near the site, the official creation of the Petra National Park and the implementation of the Petra National Park Management Plan prepared by UNESCO experts, including the establishment of eight protective zones, a buffer zone and a management authority, and requested them to send to the Centre by 1 May, a full report on the safeguarding measures undertaken.

By letter of 13 March, the Permanent Delegation of Jordan had sent the Centre a proposal for an extension of the site under the name Petra Natural and Archaeological Park, which was subsequently withdrawn pending completion of the proposal; and by letter of 18 March, the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities had informed the Centre of a certain number of measures undertaken to improve the protection of the site: limiting the daily intake of visitors and horses, improvement of sanitary arrangements, regrouping of street stalls, recruitment of a refuse team, creation of a centre for stone conservation and a team to study rock erosion, the improvement of some sites through descriptive panels and trails, establishment of a special bureau to follow up these different projects.

During its nineteenth session in July 1995, the Bureau thanked the Jordanian authorities for having undertaken the measures outlined by the Committee without delay and congratulated them on their desire to ensure long-term preservation of the site. In order to have available all the necessary elements for the evaluation of the proposed extension of the site, it requested the authorities to confirm, by 1 October, that no new hotel construction would be authorized at Wadi Musa and along the Taybeh road, that the Petra National Park Management Plan will be fully implemented, and that a specific management authority will be created at the site. These recommendations were transmitted by the Centre by letter of 13 July.

During a working meeting held on 14 September at the Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism, the Director of the UNESCO Office in Amman was informed that the Jordanian authorities were fully aware of the problems caused by the construction of new hotels and that the deliverance of building permits had been halted. The Minister emphasized the importance of establishing zoning regulations and guidelines for constructions at Wadi Musa which would be prepared with assistance from The World Bank.

Several of the short-term recommendations contained in the Management Plan had already been implemented, as already mentioned, but the long-term recommendations will be the subject of further studies. A Regional Planning Council for the Petra Region was established, chaired by the Minister of Antiquities and Tourism. It is responsible for all action in the region, including that for Petra. A Technical Committee was established to draw up the zoning regulations, as the first step towards the creation of an independent authority for the site.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 1995

The Bureau may wish to recommend to the Committee to adopt the following text:

"The Committee warmly thanked the Jordanian authorities and in particular the Minister of Antiquities and Tourism, for all their efforts and the measures undertaken to ensure the long-term preservation of Petra. It gave them its full approval of proceeding as quickly as possible with the establishment of zoning regulations and construction guidelines in order to avoid the proliferation of hotels and buildings, as well as the setting up of an independent local protection and management body endowed with the necessary authority. It requested them to devote all their efforts towards the active implementation of the UNESCO experts' Petra Management Plan and to the extension of this World Heritage site, whilst ensuring its preservation. It requested the national authorities to keep the Committee informed by April next, through its Secretariat, of progress accomplished."

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1995
19 BUR VI.22
Petra (Jordan)

After having taken note of the Secretariat’s report, and additional information from ICOMOS, the Bureau thanked the Jordanian authorities for having undertaken the measures outlined by the Committee without delay and congratulated them on their desire to ensure long-term conservation of the site. In order to have available all the necessary elements for the evaluation of the proposed extension of the site, it requested the authorities to confirm by 1 October that no new hotel construction projects will be authorized at Wadi Musa and along the Taybeh road, that the Petra National Park Management Plan will be fully implemented and that a specific management authority will be created at the site.

It also recommended that a proposal for the extension of the World Heritage site which would provide its long-term protection be also submitted as soon as possible by the Jordanian authorities.

19 COM VII.C.2.40/41
SOC: Petra (Jordan)

VII.40 Petra (Jordan)

The Secretariat recalled that during its eighteenth session, the Committee was informed of the different threats (hotel constructions near the site, insufficient waste water evacuation systems, uncontrolled urban development, proliferation of shops) menacing the preservation of the integrity of the site.

It informed the Committee that by letter of 13 March, the Permanent Delegation of Jordan had sent the Centre a proposal for an extension of the site under the name Petra Natural and Archaeological Park, which was subsequently withdrawn pending completion of the proposal. Furthermore, by letter of 18 March, the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities had informed the Centre of a certain number of measures undertaken to improve the protection of the site: limiting the daily intake of visitors and horses, improvement of sanitary arrangements, regrouping of street stalls, recruitment of a refuse team, creation of a centre for stone conservation and a team to study rock erosion, the improvement of some sites through descriptive panels and trails, establishment of a special bureau to follow up these different projects.

On 14 September the Director of the UNESCO Office in Amman was informed by the Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism, that the Jordanian authorities were also fully aware of the problems caused by the construction of new hotels and that the deliverance of building permits had been halted. The Minister had emphasized the importance of establishing zoning regulations and guidelines for constructions at Wadi Musa which would be prepared with assistance from The World Bank.

If several of the short-term recommendations contained in the Management Plan had already been implemented, the long-term recommendations will be the subject of further studies. A Regional Planning Council for the Petra Region was established, chaired by the Minister of Antiquities and Tourism. It is responsible for all action in the region, including that for Petra. A Technical Committee was established to draw up the zoning regulations, as the first step towards the creation of an independent authority for the site.

The Committee thanked the Jordanian authorities and in particular the Minister of Antiquities and Tourism, for all their efforts and the measures undertaken to ensure the long-term preservation of Petra. It gave them its full approval to proceed as quickly as possible with the establishment of zoning regulations and construction guidelines in order to avoid the proliferation of hotels and buildings, as well as the setting up of an independent local protection and management body endowed with the necessary authority. It invited them to continue to devote their efforts towards the active implementation of the Petra Management Plan prepared with the help of UNESCO experts, and to the extension of this World Heritage site, with the necessary means for ensuring its preservation. It invited the national authorities to keep the Committee informed by April next, through its Secretariat, of progress accomplished.

The Secretariat recommends the Committee to examine the information contained in the working document and the oral report provided by the Secretariat. The Secretariat recommends the Committee to adopt the following:

"The Committee warmly thanked the Jordanian authorities and in particular the Minister of Antiquities and Tourism, for all their efforts and the measures undertaken to ensure the long-term preservation of Petra. It gave them its full approval of proceeding as quickly as possible with the establishment of zoning regulations and construction guidelines in order to avoid the proliferation of hotels and buildings, as well as the setting up of an independent local protection and management body endowed with the necessary authority. It requested them to devote all their efforts towards the active implementation of the UNESCO experts' Petra Management Plan and to the extension of this World Heritage site, whilst ensuring its preservation. It requested the national authorities to keep the Committee informed by April next, through its Secretariat, of progress accomplished."

Report year: 1995
Jordan
Date of Inscription: 1985
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(iii)(iv)
Exports

* : 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”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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