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Wadi Rum Protected Area

Jordan
Factors affecting the property in 2016*
  • Financial resources
  • Governance
  • Housing
  • Human resources
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Solid waste
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Lack of a database on cultural heritage
  • Lack of proper conservation and maintenance of the archaeological sites
  • Lack of traffic and visitor management plans
  • Potential encroachment from development in the village of Rum
  • Lack of trained staff and financial resources for the management of the property
  • Financial resources
  • Governance
  • Human resources
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Solid waste
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2016
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2016**

2014: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2016

In January 2016, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, a summary of which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1377/documents/. Progress on a number of conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions is presented in this report, as follows:

  • A legal suit against all seven illegal tourist camps has been prepared and submitted, in addition to legal warnings against at least a dozen impermanent camp-like installations, which are considered by the State Party to be attempts at land grabbing. Both the specialized court of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) and the local governor have confirmed their commitments, within the constraints of the region’s sensitive political and security conditions, to resolve the camps issue as soon as possible (anticipated in 2016). It is noted that there are 25 recognized legal camps in the property, of which 15 are currently active;
  • A Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2014 by ASEZA and the Department of Antiquities (DoA) includes provisions for the establishment of a unified cultural heritage database to be administered by DoA in close coordination with the Wadi Rum Protected Area management team. This database has since been integrated into the DoA’s national cultural databank, though the data entry, verification and geo-referencing processes are still underway. Submission of a specific request for International Assistance to complete the database is envisaged for 2016, and a fully operational database is anticipated later that same year;
  • A second revision of the Management Plan was initiated in mid-2015 and should be submitted to the World Heritage Centre by the end of 2017. Among the revisions planned is an improvement to the quality of visitors’ experience by developing and updating the interpretation programme;
  • The 2016-2017 planning and budgeting process will include the recruitment and installation of two new specialists in cultural and natural science management on-site, as a matter of priority.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2016

The State Party has achieved progress in addressing a number of the Committee’s concerns, despite facing substantial challenges as a result of regional political instability, economic difficulties and social changes.

Notable progress includes completing the Memorandum of Understanding between ASEZA and the DoA with the aim of enhancing the management of the cultural components of the property; and launching a programme to revise the draft 2014 Management Plan. Less progress has been made on the management of waste water of Rum village, which is noted to be a top priority for ASEZA’s investment plan for 2016. The State Party’s intention to keep the World Heritage Centre informed about the development of a waste water treatment plant, in order to comply to the greatest degree with guidelines and standards, should be welcomed.

Likewise, little progress is reported on implementing Environmental and Heritage Impact Assessments (EIA and HIA, respectively) for tourism activities in and around the property. However, it is foreseen that the EIAs and HIAs will be completed in 2016, for which advice will be sought from the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies regarding the application of IUCN’s and ICOMOS’ respective guidance documents on impact assessments.  

Concerning illegal tourist camps and other camp-like installations within the property, the State Party considers that this issue does not represent a major threat to the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), integrity or authenticity. It has nevertheless taken legal steps against the camps and has initiated a negotiation process with the violators in an attempt to reach a peaceful solution for the illegal activities and to explore possibilities for a mutually acceptable compromise. The State Party has not commented on whether strategies exist or are foreseen for the rehabilitation of any degraded areas.

The State Party has not commented on the integration of cultural and natural attributes within a single database, as recommended by the 2014 mission. The cultural heritage database currently under development should be integrated with any existing natural heritage data into one compatible GIS (geographic information system) database including cultural and natural data, in order to support and facilitate the integrated monitoring and management of the cultural and natural values of the property.

The highest priority in the revised Management Plan should be placed on the inclusion of legal measures and policies, backed by the necessary staff and financial resources, to enable effective management of the property and its buffer zone, and the regulation of development activities, visitor management, and tourism infrastructure and facilities, including vehicle route control within the property.

The State Party has not commented specifically on the engagement of national and international research institutions in the management system for the property. It is therefore recommended that the Committee strongly encourage the State Party to harness the work achieved by such institutions for achieving the highest possible levels of science- and evidence-based decision-making in the ongoing management of the property and its buffer zone.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2016
40 COM 7B.65
Wadi Rum Protected Area (Jordan) (C/N 1377)
The World Heritage Committee,
  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.56, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Notes with appreciation the progress made by the State Party in addressing the recommendations made by the 2014 Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, particularly in the context of the region’s sensitive political and security conditions;
  4. Welcomes the State Party’s intention to keep the World Heritage Centre informed about progress with the development of a waste water treatment plant for the Rum village, in order to ensure maximum compliance with applicable guidelines and standards;
  5. Urges the State Party to complete, as a matter of priority, the full and permanent resolution of the issue of illegal tourist camps and other camp-like installations within the property, and to rehabilitate any areas that may have been degraded;
  6. Reiterates its request to integrate the cultural heritage database currently under development with any existing natural heritage data into one compatible GIS (Geographic Information System) database, which includes both cultural and natural data, in order to support and facilitate the integrated monitoring and management of the cultural and natural attributes of the property;
  7. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to ensure that the revised Management Plan provides legal measures and policies, backed by the necessary staff and financial resources, to enable effective management of the property and its buffer zone, including the regulation of development activities, visitor management, and tourism infrastructure and facilities, including vehicle route control within the property;
  8. Strongly encourages the State Party to harness the work achieved by national and international research institutions in the management system for the property;
  9. Requests the State Party to pursue the full implemention of all recommendations of the 2014 mission;
  10. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2017, 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 42nd session in 2018.
Draft Decision: 40 COM 7B.65

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/16/40.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 38 COM 7B.56, adopted at its 38th session (Doha, 2014),
  3. Notes with appreciation the progress made by the State Party in addressing the recommendations made by the 2014 Reactive Monitoring mission to the property, particularly in the context of the region’s sensitive political and security conditions;
  4. Welcomes the State Party’s intention to keep the World Heritage Centre informed about progress with the development of a waste water treatment plant for the Rum village, in order to ensure maximum compliance with applicable guidelines and standards;
  5. Urges the State Party to complete, as a matter of priority, the full and permanent resolution of the issue of illegal tourist camps and other camp-like installations within the property, and to rehabilitate any areas that may have been degraded;
  6. Reiterates its request to integrate the cultural heritage database currently under development with any existing natural heritage data into one compatible GIS (Geographic Information System) database, which includes both cultural and natural data, in order to support and facilitate the integrated monitoring and management of the cultural and natural attributes of the property;
  7. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to ensure that the revised Management Plan provides legal measures and policies, backed by the necessary staff and financial resources, to enable effective management of the property and its buffer zone, including the regulation of development activities, visitor management, and tourism infrastructure and facilities, including vehicle route control within the property;
  8. Strongly encourages the State Party to harness the work achieved by national and international research institutions in the management system for the property;
  9. Requests the State Party to pursue the full implemention of all recommendations of the 2014 mission;
  10. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2017, 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 42nd session in 2018.
Report year: 2016
Jordan
Date of Inscription: 2011
Category: Mixed
Criteria: (iii)(v)(vii)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2016) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 40COM (2016)
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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