Director-General visits World Heritage Site of Petra and UNESCO projects
During her recent visit to Jordan, the UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova visited the World Heritage Site of Petra and the UNESCO non-formal education project in Um Sayhoun on May 22, 2012. During meetings with local authorities and UNESCO partners, Irina Bokova reaffirmed the Organization’s commitment in supporting Jordan in the safeguarding of the site and stressed the importance of the protection of Petra as one of the most important heritage sites in the world.
In the presence of national stakeholders, a lunch was hosted by the Petra Development Tourism Regional Authority were projects in support of the conservation, management and community involvement were presented and existing challenges discussed. Irina Bokova acknowledged the important work of local authorities, the Department of Antiquities and the Petra Development Tourism Regional Authority, and other partners working alongside with UNESCO for the safeguarding of the World Heritage Site and stressed the importance of the involvement of local communities in order to guarantee long term sustainability. The lunch was concluded with a presentation of the Head of the Amman office of UNESCO’s past contribution and current projects: the Risk Mapping Project at the Petra Archaeological Park, the Siq Stability- Sustainable Monitoring Techniques for Assessing Instability of Slopes in the Siq, and the Non-Formal Education Program in the Bdoul village of Umm Sayhoun.
During a guided site visit to the World Heritage Sites of Petra in the company of Her Royal Highness Princess Dana Firas, member of the Petra National Trust, different conservation and archaeological projects were explained to the Director-General.
The tour was concluded with a visit to a UNESCO non-formal education program at the Umm Sayhoun school where the the Director-General met with the beneficiaries of the project - school dropouts who are getting a second chance to study in a non-formal education centre. Most of these young men and women were forced to leave the school at an early age in order to work on the site to support their families and were delighted to have the opportunity to meet with UNESCO’s Director-General and to share their hopes and motivation to strive for a better future.
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