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Factors affecting the property in 2001*
  • Commercial development
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Management activities
  • 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
  • construction or road widening projects leading to the site
  • other encroachments upon the integrity of the site
  • heavy floodings in 1996 (issue resolved) 
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2001
Requests approved: 3 (from 1987-2001)
Total amount approved : 99,500 USD
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 2001

Previous deliberations:
Twenty-fourth session of the Bureau (paragraph number IV.68).
Twenty-fourth session of the Committee (paragraph number VIII.38; Annex X page 129)

Main issues: Adoption of Operational Plan

New information:

The ICOMOS report of September 2000 mentioned that an Operational Plan for the Archaeological Park of Petra, developed by the US National Park Service with funding from a World Bank Tourism Development Project, was being discussed by the Jordanian authorities in consultation with various stakeholders.

A draft version of this Operational Plan was reviewed during a workshop organized by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of Jordan in Amman, on 17 January 2001. The document provides a framework for the implementation of an appropriate site management plan, whose specific contents would remain to be defined (but a substantial part of the work was accomplished by UNESCO in 1995). This framework includes an organizational chart, job descriptions, the required qualifications of the staff to be recruited, detailed management policy, park regulations and a timetable for implementation.

A detailed assessment of the draft Operational Plan was presented in writing to the Jordanian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities by a group of stakeholders invited to the Amman Workshop, including a representative of the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Amman, in February 2001. The stakeholders especially appreciated the effort to adopt an integrated approach to the problem of Petra and its surrounding, the conservation of the cultural and natural resources, the presentation and educational aspects, and the relationship between the site and the local communities as components of a comprehensive policy to be implemented by a single authority.

On the other hand, the stakeholders observed that the document did not completely address the need to resolve co-ordination conflicts at the institutional and legislative levels, did not contain an estimate of the costs and a financial plan for its implementation and, finally, did not sufficiently address the difficulty of identifying or training the highly qualified human resources necessary for the execution of such a complex task.

In conclusion, the stakeholders recommended that further study be carried out, to strengthen the draft Operational Plan and to address the above-mentioned issues, referring in particular to the following three main areas: institutional/legislative, financial, and human resources.

Action Required
The Bureau thanks and commends Jordan for elaborating an Operational Plan for the archaeological park of Petra, whose implementation will constitute an essential step towards a sound management and conservation policy at the site. The Bureau recommends that the Jordanian authorities work closely with the World Heritage Centre and other concerned stakeholders to ensure that the final version of the Petra Operational Plan take into account the above observations, prior to its adoption by the State Party.
Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2001
25 BUR V.212-215
Petra (Jordan)

V.212     The Secretariat informed the Bureau on the contents of the Draft Petra Park Operational Plan for the management of the site, prepared by a U.S. National Park Service team with funding from a World Bank Project. This Operational Plan was presented to a group of stakeholders, including UNESCO, during a Workshop held in Amman in January 2001. A copy of this Operational Plan was requested and obtained by ICOMOS for consultation.

V.213     The Bureau noted that this Operational Plan does not constitute a duplication of the Master Plan prepared by UNESCO in 1996 for Petra, but rather aims to provide an operational framework for its implementation.

V.214     The Bureau took note of the observations of the Secretariat and recommended that the present Draft be further improved to ensure the feasibility of the Plan. In particular, the Bureau found that three aspects of the Operational Plan needed to be addressed: 1) the institutional/legislative framework; 2) the financial sustainability of the Petra Park; and 3) the need to develop a local capacity and adequate human resources for the implementation of the Plan.

V.215     The Bureau thanked and commended the Jordanian authorities for elaborating an Operational Plan for Petra, whose implementation will constitute an essential step towards a sound management and conservation policy for this World Heritage site. The Bureau recommended that the Jordanian authorities work closely with the World Heritage Centre to ensure that the final version of the Petra Park Operational Plan takes into account the above observations, prior to its adoption by the State Party.

Report year: 2001
Date of Inscription: 1985
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(iii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 25COM (2001)

* : 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.