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Petra

Jordan
Factors affecting the property in 2010*
  • Management systems/ management plan
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) 
  • lack of management plan for the property
  • lack of clear boundary delimitations
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2010
Requests approved: 4 (from 1987-2010)
Total amount approved : 167,079 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2010

Upon a request from the World Heritage Centre, due to information received concerning threats affecting the property, the State Party submitted a report on 12 April 2010 prepared by the Department of Antiquities. It indicates that the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority was established following a Governmental law (law no. 15) endorsed in August 2009, in order to develop Petra’s region in touristic, economic, social and cultural terms, as well as contributing to local development. While this new Authority takes over the duties of the previously appointed Petra Archaeological Park Council, the Law of Antiquities governing the protection and management of the archaeological sites of the country remains in effect.

a) Safety concerns pertaining to the crack that had been detected along the south side of the Siq

The State Party reports that risk of rock fall is a serious threat on the site: a large rock fall incident occurred in the Siq in May 2009, and in March 2010 a tomb facade collapsed. The State Party reports that the Department of Antiquities had in particular noted the risks posed by the cracked rock along the southern side of the Siq and that temporary preventive works were carried out in order to prevent immediate further damages and to eliminate threats linked to visitor safety. The report notes that the crack was sealed in order to prevent water seepage during the winter season 2009/2010. Moreover, a detailed study was completed in January 2010 by the Arab Consultants Bureau which concluded, among others, that it would be necessary to carry out interventions in order to avoid risking an increase of the crack and/or the occurrence of additional cracks. Temporary scaffolding is in place and the State Party report notes that temporary support works need to be installed prior to the stabilization.

Since the crack was detected in March 2009, three missions were undertaken by a UNESCO expert (April, June, and August 2009). These expert missions determined that the rock is in an extremely unstable condition and poses a very serious threat to visitor safety, as it is located in the Siq which is the only entrance path into the site. The UNESCO expert, together with a local expert, prepared the terms of reference for the different stages of works required and also conducted a first visual geological risk assessment of the Siq.

As follow up to the expert’s recommendations, the UNESCO Amman office assisted the Department of Antiquities in preparing an International Assistance Request for a geological risk assessment of the whole Siq. UNESCO Amman has undertaken several visits to the site, noting that the necessary anchorage work on the unstable rock has still not started despite the serious safety risk posed by the unstable rock.

b) Building of a conference centre and associated buildings in the Dara area

The State Party report notes that the Department of Antiquities has no information on this issue and notes that, previously, regulations were in place prohibiting any construction in that area. A conference centre and associated buildings exactly adjacent to the Park boundaries would not only severely encroach on the Park but would be located within an area that has been identified as a potential buffer zone for the property. Such situations are related to the fact that while at least two management plans have been drafted since 1994, a final plan has not yet been formally established nor legally endorsed.

c) Actions planned aimed at improving the quality of services provided to tourists

The Department of Antiquities notes that it was informed that the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority plans to carry out a series of actions targeting services and tourist facilities at the site. However, the Department of Antiquities has expressed concerns regarding the implementation of such activities and their potential impact on the site. To this end, it has submitted an International Assistance Request to the World Heritage Centre for an expert mission to Petra to carry out an impact assessment study and recommendations on the provision of electric cars for tourism purposes, the extension of an electric cable along the road leading from Um Sayhun village to the central basin, the installation of portable power capacity and an integrated tourist market in Petra.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are concerned by the state of conservation of the Siq and consider that the necessary remedial work should be carried out as soon as possible to ensure the safety of visitors as well as to limit any further damage. They are also concerned by the lack of progress in the establishment, legal endorsement and implementation of a management plan for the property despite the numerous studies and drafts elaborated. While the State Party has yet to submit to the World Heritage Centre the required boundary clarifications for the property requested since 2006 within the framework of the Retrospective Inventory, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies would recommend the establishment of a buffer zone which would protect the property from further developments. The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies are further concerned about the lack of a coordination mechanism between the various stakeholders, in particular the newly established Regional Authority and the Department of Antiquities, which might affect the overall conservation of the property..

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2010
9 EXT.COM 4.1
Examination of International Assistance requests

The World Heritage Committee,

1.         Having examined document WHC-10/9 EXT.COM/4,

2.         Decides to approve the following request:

Jordan: Urgent Investigation of the Rock Stability in the Siq in Petra, for an amount of US$ 67,579, under the category 'Conservation & Management'.

 

34 COM 7B.56
Petra (Jordan) (C 326)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add,

2. Takes note of the information provided by the State Party and expresses its concern regarding the state of conservation of the Siq and the lack of a comprehensive conservation and management policy, for the property coordinated among stakeholders;

3. Requests the State Party to take all appropriate measures as soon as possible to ensure that the necessary work is carried out on the unstable rock on the south side of the Siq in order to ensure the safety of visitors as well as to limit any further damage;

4. Also requests the State Party to carry out adequate studies to determine the impact of the planned tourist related activities on the property, to inform the World Heritage Centre of any construction projects planned in the Dara area for examination by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, and to refrain from initiating any activity which may affect the integrity of the property;

5. Urges the State Party to finalize the Management Plan for the property, integrating the successive draft management plans and studies, and have it legally endorsed and implemented;

6. Also urges the State Party to establish as early as possible a clear management mechanism and adequate structure with the priority of maintaining the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

7. Further requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to Petra to assess the state of conservation of the property, the advancement of the works on the Siq and to discuss the planned actions, as well as the progress in the finalization of the Management Plan;

8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2011, a report on the implementation of the above recommendations for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011.

34 COM 8E
Adoption of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/8E,

2. Adopts the retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value, as presented in the Annex I of Documents WHC-10/34.COM/8E, WHC-10/34.COM/8E.Add and WHC-10/34.COM/8E.Add.2 for the following World Heritage properties: 

  • Algeria: Al Qal'a of Beni Hammad; M'Zab Valley; Djémila; Tipasa; Tassili n'Ajjer; Timgad; Kasbah of Algiers;
  • Austria: Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg; Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn; Hallstatt-Dachstein / Salzkammergut Cultural Landscape;
  • Bulgaria: Boyana Church; Madara Rider; Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak; Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo; Rila Monastery; Ancient City of Nessebar; Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari;
  • Côte d'Ivoire: Comoé National Park;
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo: Okapi Wildlife Reserve;
  • Denmark: Jelling Mounds, Runic Stones and Church; Roskilde Cathedral;
  • Ethiopia: SimienNational Park;
  • Israel: Masada; Old City of Acre; White City of Tel-Aviv - the Modern Movement; Incense Route - Desert Cities in the Negev; Biblical Tels - Megiddo, Hazor, Beer Sheba;
  • Jordan: Petra; Quseir Amra; Um er-Rasas (Kastrom Mefa'a);
  • Lebanon: Anjar; Byblos; Baalbek; Tyre; Ouadi Qadisha (the Holy Valley) and the Forest of the Cedars of God (Horsh Arz-el-Rab);
  • Malawi: Lake Malawi National Park;
  • Mauritania: Banc d'Arguin National Park; Ancient Ksour of Ouadane, Chinguetti, Tichitt and Oualata;
  • Morocco: Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou; Historic City of Meknes; Archaeological Site of Volubilis; Medina of Essaouira (formerly Mogador); Medina of Fez; Medina of Marrakesh; Medina of Tétouan (formerly known as Titawin); Portuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida);
  • Niger: Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves; W National Park of Niger;
  • Oman: Bahla Fort;
  • Portugal: Laurisilva of Madeira;
  • Senegal: Island of Gorée; Niokolo-Koba National Park;
  • Seychelles: Aldabra Atoll; Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve;
  • South Africa: Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai, and Environs.
  • Spain: Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville ;
  • Sudan: Gebel Barkal and the Sites of the Napatan Region;
  • Syrian Arab Republic: Ancient City of Bosra; Ancient City of Aleppo; Crac des Chevaliers and Qal'at Salah El-Din; City of Damascus; Site of Palmyra;
  • Tunisia: Archaeological Site of Carthage; Amphitheatre of El Jem; Ichkeul National Park; Medina of Sousse; Kairouan; Medina of Tunis; Punic Town of Kerkuane and its Necropolis; Dougga / Thugga;
  • Uganda: Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi;
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: Saltaire; Dorset and East Devon Coast; Derwent Valley Mills; Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Liverpool - Maritime Mercantile City; Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape.
  • United Republic of Tanzania: Selous Game Reserve; Kilimanjaro National Park;
  • Yemen: Historic Town of Zabid;

3. Decides that retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value for World Heritage properties in Danger will be reviewed in priority;

4. Further decides that, considering the high number of retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value to be examined, the order in which they will be reviewed will follow the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting, namely:

  • World Heritage properties in the Arab States;
  • World Heritage properties in Africa;
  • World Heritage properties in Asia and the Pacific;
  • World Heritage properties in Latin America and the Caribbean;
  • World Heritage properties in Europe and North America.
Draft Decision: 34 COM 7B.56

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add,

2. Takes note of the information provided by the State Party and expresses its concern regarding the state of conservation of the Siq and the lack of a comprehensive conservation and management policy, for the property coordinated among stakeholders;

3. Requests the State Party to take all appropriate measures as soon as possible to ensure that the necessary work is carried out on the unstable rock on the south side of the Siq in order to ensure the safety of visitors as well as to limit any further damage;

4. Also requests the State Party to carry out adequate studies to determine the impact of the planned tourist related activities on the property, to inform the World Heritage Centre of any construction projects planned in the Dara area for examination by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, and to refrain from initiating any activity which may affect the integrity of the property;

5. Urges the State Party to finalise the Management Plan for the property, integrating the successive draft management plans and studies, and have it legally endorsed and implemented;

6. Also urges the State Party to establish as early as possible a clear management mechanism and adequate structure with the priority of maintaining the Outstanding Universal Value of the property ;

7. Further requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to Petra to assess the state of conservation of the property, the advancement of the works on the Siq and to discuss the planned actions, as well as the progress in the finalization of the Management Plan ;

8. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2011, a report on the implementation of the above recommendations for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011.

Report year: 2010
Jordan
Date of Inscription: 1985
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(iii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 34COM (2010)
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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