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, 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

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, November 2017: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/IUCN 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 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:

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

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:

Decision Adopted: 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,
    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.