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Petra

Jordan
Factors affecting the property in 2018*
  • Commercial development
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Interpretative and visitation facilities
  • Land conversion
  • Major visitor accommodation and associated infrastructure
  • Management systems/ management plan
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Heavy flooding in 1996 (issue resolved) 
  • Insufficiency or non-existence of sewage disposal facilities (issue resolved) 
  • Insufficient conservation of antiquities (issue resolved) 
  • Housing (uncontrolled development of villages in the vicinity of the site)
  • Ground transport infrastructure (construction or road widening projects leading to the site)
  • Other encroachments upon the integrity of the site
  • Lack of management plan for the property 
  • Lack of clear boundary delimitations
  • Land conversion
  • Urban growth and urban encroachment
  • Development projects and major visitor associated infrastructure in the property and its vicinity (new hotels under construction, Crowne Plaza extension, Petra Museum project, eco-village and cultural village)
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds until 2018

Total amount provided: USD 1 million from the Italian Fund-in-Trust, USD 60 000 Improving the management of World Heritage and Tentative List sites in Jordan in line with the 1972 Convention, USD 10,450 Heritage Emergency Fund

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2018
Requests approved: 4 (from 1987-2010)
Total amount approved : 167,079 USD
Missions to the property until 2018**

September 2000: ICOMOS mission; March 2004: UNESCO mission; 2009: UNESCO technical expert missions; December 2010: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission, November 2017: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

On 30 April 2018 the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/326/documents/, providing information on measures taken or proposed to address the recommendations of the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission (November 2017), as follows:

  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is proposed between the Petra Development and Tourism Authority (PDTRA) and the Department of Antiquities (DoA), defining roles and responsibilities in the protection and management of the property;
  • The decision to extend the Crowne Plaza Hotel has been revoked; the hotel will be renovated without additions, with close supervision by PDTRA and DoA; measures to mitigate its impact are foreseen in conjunction with an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA);
  • PDTRA has worked to mitigate and reduce the environmental footprint of the eco-village and cultural village, on which construction had started in the buffer zone; the giant wheel and the cable car projects have been canceled;
  • The Integrated Management Plan (IMP) prepared jointly by the DoA and the UNESCO Amman Office is being finalized; it includes an Action Plan and Policy Framework, which will be coupled with legal provisions, and reinforced with policies and funding actions;
  • PDTRA has submitted to the Ministry of Environment its request to designate the Petra Archaeological Park (PAP) as a Natural Protected Area (NPA). This designation will reinforce the protection and conservation of the property’s natural and cultural resources including its setting. A MoU under preparation between the PDTRA and Ministry of Environment foresees a specific monitoring programme for the NPA;
  • PDTRA intends to establish a maintenance and restoration centre. An assessment plan will be devised for the archaeological missions in Petra. Conservation and capacity needs and means to optimize and rationalize archaeological excavations and research in Petra are addressed under the IMP;
  • The rehabilitation and maintenance of the water management system and the reactivation of the flash floods early warning system are proposed, in parallel with ongoing hydrological studies;
  • Studies, analysis, risk mitigation measures and capacity building activities were conducted to prevent rock falls; at the Treasury façade, unstable blocks were removed, risks were mitigated and additional studies are ongoing;
  • Future initiatives to enhance the intangible heritage values of the property are planned with the involvement of the local communities, civil society associations, and the Princess Basma Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage at Al Hussein Bin Talal University;
  • PDTRA has devised and commenced measures to improve the economic revenues and tourism investment opportunities of the local communities in the Petra area, including improved representation of the local communities in the decision-making process and support for local projects. The ‘Community Based Regional Tourism Development in the Petra Region’, a project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is reinforcing these efforts;
  • PDTRA worked with the Petra Society for Integrated Development to address school dropouts by providing additional educational support to 90 children under the age of 12. It is raising awareness on and taking steps to stop child labour through targeted workshops and monitoring of school drop-out levels with the involvement of the relevant Ministries and UNICEF;
  • A series of activities were conducted to address animal mistreatment including awareness raising, a strategy, new regulations and several measures, in partnership with relevant national and international partners. A free medical day was held for animals, the animal clinic was reopened and a new veterinarian was appointed at the PDTRA.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2018

The November 2017 joint mission (see mission report at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/326/documents/) undertook a detailed analysis of the current issues and threats at the property.

The State Party demonstrates clear commitment to addressing the mission’s recommendations through structured and concrete steps. The new team leading the PDTRA, appointed in December 2017, is closely working with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the World Heritage Centre and the UNESCO Amman Office to address the future conservation and management needs for the property and the high quality of the IMP will substantially contribute to these efforts.  

The State Party should be commended for taking important decisions to mitigate the impact of ongoing construction sites in the property’s vicinity, including replacing the Crowne Plaza extension project with a low-environmental impact renovation, and the abandonment of other high-impact tourism infrastructure projects. The designation of the PAP as a NPA will be an important step to protect the property’s natural and cultural resources and foster sustainable tourism development.

The MoUs under preparation will reinforce coordination, improve conservation and management efficiency, and allow enforcing the World Heritage Convention’s requirements and obligations; these will enable the DoA to fully embrace its legal obligations in the property, its buffer zone and setting.

The State Party’s efforts to involve local communities and civil society organizations in decision-making and local development actions, and address their needs in terms of economic and social development, are highly commendable, in particular efforts to address child labour and school dropouts.  

The State Party is demonstrating strong commitment to a sustainable economic, environmental and social development approach, in line with the policy on the integration of a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention.

Nevertheless, urban growth and urban encroachment, which constitute the main threats to the property, are yet to be fully addressed as a matter of urgency. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to:

  • Implement all of the recommendations of the November 2017 joint Reactive Monitoring mission, particularly those relating to an accurate GIS-based map of the property, a permanent moratorium on new buildings or infrastructure, procedures for notification to, and consultation with, the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS, and attention to the Siq Stabilization Project through a holistic and scientific approach;
  • Protect the property from urban growth and development pressure through an Integrated Territorial Master Plan (ITMP) that allows for sustainable economic, social and environmental development;
  • Prevent densification of the property’s setting and divert urban growth towards the east of the property, beyond the boundaries of the PDTRA;
  • Devise new regulations for the projected buffer zone and the property’s larger setting, in line with the integrated territorial planning approach.
  • Submit a minor boundary modification proposal towards the adoption of the boundaries of the planned buffer zone and to clarify the protective urban regulations of the planned buffer zone including its zoning, in the context of the development of an ITMP.
Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2018
42 COM 7B.54
Petra (Jordan) (C 326)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7B.80, adopted at its 41th session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Highly commends the State Party for taking immediate and substantive measures to implement key recommendations of the November 2017 joint Reactive Monitoring mission, notably by:
    1. Elaborating a high-quality Integrated Management Plan (IMP) for the property and foreseeing legal provisions and adequate policies for its implementation, in line with the Operational Guidelines,
    2. Replacing the project to extend the Crowne Plaza Hotel with a low-environmental impact renovation one, and abandoning other high-impact tourism infrastructure projects,
    3. Reinforcing institutional coordination to improve conservation and management efficiency, in particular with regards to the Department of Antiquities’ role, and to the planned maintenance and restoration centre for the property;
  4. Also commends the State Party for conducting a management and protection approach in line with Policy on the integration of a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention, notably through:
    1. Environmental protection: its efforts to designate the Petra Archaeological Park as a Natural Protected area, to reduce the environmental footprints of ongoing construction projects in the property’s setting, and to step-up animal welfare-related actions,
    2. Sustainable social and economic development: its active involvement of local communities and civil society organisations in decision-making and local development actions, in addressing their needs in terms of economic and social development, in particular concerning child labour and school dropouts;
  5. Urges the State Party to implement all of the recommendations of the November 2017 mission, including particularly:
    1. Taking the necessary actions to protect the property from urban growth and urban encroachment by:
      1. Enforcing a permanent moratorium on new buildings or infrastructure that are visible from the site,
      2. Devising an Integrated Territorial Master Plan (ITMP) that allows for sustainable economic, social and environmental development,
      3. Preventing densification of the property’s setting and diverting urban growth towards the east of the property, beyond the boundaries of the Petra Development Tourism Authority,
      4. Devising new regulations for the projected buffer zone and the property’s larger setting, in line with the integrated territorial planning approach,
    2. Preparation of an accurate GIS-based map of the property showing its precise boundaries, topography, location of all its component attributes and planned buffer zone,
    3. Urgent attention to the Siq Stabilization Project through a holistic and scientific approach to water management and watershed planning, and the root causes of flash floods,
    4. Establishing procedures for notification to, and consultation with, the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS prior to the implementation of major works;
  6. Reiterates its request to the State Party to submit a minor boundary modification proposal towards the adoption of the boundaries of the planned buffer zone and to clarify the protective urban regulations of the planned buffer zone including its zoning, in the context of the development of an ITMP;
  7. Encourages the State Party to pursue its ongoing dialogue and collaboration with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies towards the conservation, and management of the property;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, 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 44th session in 2020.
Draft Decision: 42 COM 7B.54

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 7B.80, adopted at its 41th session (Krakow, 2017),
  3. Highly commends the State Party for taking immediate and substantive measures to implement key recommendations of the November 2017 joint Reactive Monitoring mission, notably by:
    1. Elaborating a high-quality Integrated Management Plan (IMP) for the property and foreseeing legal provisions and adequate policies for its implementation, in line with the Operational Guidelines,
    2. Replacing the project to extend the Crowne Plaza Hotel with a low-environmental impact renovation one, and abandoning other high-impact tourism infrastructure projects,
    3. Reinforcing institutional coordination to improve conservation and management efficiency, in particular with regards to the Department of Antiquities’ role, and to the planned maintenance and restoration centre for the property;
  4. Also commends the State Party for conducting a management and protection approach in line with Policy on the integration of a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention, notably through:
    1. Environmental protection: its efforts to designate the Petra Archaeological Park as a Natural Protected area, to reduce the environmental footprints of ongoing construction projects in the property’s setting, and to step-up animal welfare-related actions,
    2. Sustainable social and economic development: its active involvement of local communities and civil society organisations in decision-making and local development actions, in addressing their needs in terms of economic and social development, in particular concerning child labour and school dropouts;
  5. Urges the State Party to implement all of the recommendations of the November 2017 mission, including particularly:
    1. Taking the necessary actions to protect the property from urban growth and urban encroachment by: 
      1.  Enforcing a permanent moratorium on new buildings or infrastructure that are visible from the site,
      2. Devising an Integrated Territorial Master Plan (ITMP) that allows for sustainable economic, social and environmental development,
      3. Preventing densification of the property’s setting and diverting urban growth towards the east of the property, beyond the boundaries of the Petra Development Tourism Authority,
      4. Devising new regulations for the projected buffer zone and the property’s larger setting, in line with the integrated territorial planning approach,
b) Preparation of an accurate GIS-based map of the property showing its precise boundaries, topography, location of all its component attributes and planned buffer zone,
c) Urgent attention to the Siq Stabilization Project through a holistic and scientific approach to water management and watershed planning, and the root causes of flash floods,
d) Establishing procedures for notification to, and consultation with, the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS prior to the implementation of major works;
6.  Reiterates its request to the State Party to submit a minor boundary modification proposal towards the adoption of the boundaries of the planned buffer zone and to clarify the protective urban regulations of the planned buffer zone including its zoning, in the context of the development of an ITMP;
7.  Encourages the State Party to pursue its ongoing dialogue and collaboration with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies towards the conservation, and management of the property;
8.   Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2019, 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 44th session in 2020.
Report year: 2018
Jordan
Date of Inscription: 1985
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(iii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2018) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 42COM (2018)
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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