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 granted:

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 2021

On 2 December 2019, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, and a further update was submitted on 28 January 2021. A summary of both reports is available at: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/326/documents/. Progress in the implementation of Committee recommendations is presented as follows:

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

Since the joint 2017 World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS/IUCN Reactive Monitoring mission, the State Party has addressed some mission recommendations and decisions of the World Heritage Committee.

The State Party is to be congratulated on launching the IMP, comprising management policies and legal provisions for conservation and protection. Implementation of the IMP is now crucial. The establishment of a permanent joint DOA/PDTRA Technical Committee that will evaluate future projects within the property, its buffer zone and areas of influence is welcomed.

The State Party has committed to enforcing a moratorium on new buildings and infrastructure that are visible from the property and has been communicating regularly with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies and submitting projects in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines. Following the technical reviews of projects by ICOMOS, the State Party has undertaken measures to avoid or reduce potential negative impacts. Exchanges are ongoing between the State Party and the World Heritage Centre regarding the Al-Dara Development Project (which would provide alternative access to the property). It is important that any further consideration of this project addresses the issue of increased densification and affords primacy to requirements for retention of attributes that contribute to the OUV of the property.

Projects related to risk management and conservation have been implemented in collaboration with the UNESCO Amman Office and other partners. The Siq Stability project has resulted in the development of a disaster risk management plan addressing potential emergencies within the PAP, the implementation of interventions and the strengthening of capacities. Completion of the ongoing hydrological studies would be necessary to establish risk mitigation measures against flash flooding. A GIS-based platform that will integrate available data is an important step, which will contribute to having an accurate GIS-based map of the property, with precise boundaries, topography, location of all its attributes, and planned buffer zone.

The State Party has been engaging local communities through consultation meetings and awareness raising activities, with a focus on animal welfare. These important efforts should be pursued further to contribute to holistic sustainable economic, environmental and social development.

On 11 October 2019, the World Heritage Centre organized a technical meeting at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, to follow up on the implementation of the World Heritage Committee’s previous recommendations as well as those of the 2017 mission. Participants included representatives of the State Party, ICOMOS, and the UNESCO Amman Office. It was agreed that a sustainable tourism management approach is necessary for safeguarding the property and maintaining its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), while ensuring community participation and responding to tourism needs. Accordingly, a process for developing a sustainable tourism strategy was initiated in January 2020. Measures that have been undertaken to address visitor circulation, would need to be considered with a holistic tourism plan.

Managing urban growth and encroachment requires a comprehensive approach in line with the projected ITMP. ICOMOS has provided specific advice on the approach to determining an appropriate buffer zone. The establishment of clear regulations for a revised designated buffer zone and the larger setting of the property should be formulated in consultation with ICOMOS and the World Heritage Centre and submitted as a minor boundary modification proposal.

Decision Adopted: 44 COM 7B.16

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7B.54, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),
  3. Congratulates the State Party on the completion and launch of the Petra Integrated Management Plan (IMP), requests the State Party to initiate its implementation with focus on key policies and immediate actions, and welcomes the establishment of a permanent Technical Committee;
  4. Commends the State Party for pursuing the implementation of some recommendations of the November 2017 Reactive Monitoring mission and Committee decisions, and encourages the State Party to further pursue these efforts, notably concerning:
    1. Commitment to enforce a permanent moratorium on new buildings and infrastructure that are visible from the site,
    2. Establishing a process for consultation with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS prior to the implementation of major projects, and for subsequently undertaking the necessary measures concerning development projects in the vicinity of the property in order to avoid or reduce negative impacts on its Outstanding Universal Value (OUV),
    3. Preparing studies addressing water harvesting and flood management in Petra,
    4. Developing a GIS-based platform to record and manage information on the Petra Archaeological Park (PAP),
    5. Carrying out community engagement and awareness raising activities, including with a focus on animal welfare;
  5. Urges the State Party to implement the following outstanding recommendations of the 2017 mission:
    1. Devising the proposed Integrated Territorial Master Plan (ITMP) to facilitate sustainable economic, social and environmental development,
    2. Preventing further densification of the property’s setting and diverting urban growth towards the east of the property, and beyond its immediate setting,
    3. Devising new regulations for a designated buffer zone and its larger setting, in line with the proposed integrated territorial planning approach,
    4. The preparation of an accurate GIS-based map pf the property, with its precise boundaries, topography, location of all its component attributes and planned buffer zone;
  6. Also requests the State Party to continue to liaise with the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS regarding the proposed Al-Dara Development Project, to ensure that consideration of the merits of this project (and design considerations, should the project be further contemplated), addresses issues including increased densification and ensures retention of attributes that contribute to the OUV of the property;
  7. Reminds the State Party of the obligation to submit to the World Heritage Centre, in conformity with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) prepared in accordance with the 2011 ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage Properties for all proposed projects, which may affect the OUV of the property;
  8. Also urges the State Party to continue working towards the establishment of a sustainable tourism strategy for the property, in collaboration with the UNESCO Amman Office and the World Heritage Centre, in line with the UNESCO World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Programme,
  9. Reiterates its request to the State Party to submit a minor boundary modification request, in line with Paragraphs 163-164 of the Operational Guidelines, and to clarify the protective urban regulations of the planned buffer zone, including its zoning, in the context of the development of an ITMP, in accordance with the approach recommended by ICOMOS and in collaboration with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  10. Also encourages the State Party to continue the ongoing dialogue and collaboration with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies towards the conservation and management of the property;
  11. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2022, 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 46th session.