Helping to protect the Petra heritage site “Risk Management at Heritage Sites: the Case Study of the Petra World Heritage Site”
Presentation of new publication and the results of the Risk Mapping Project at the Petra Archaeological Park
In partnership with the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation (RLICC) at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) and under the patronage of the Petra Development and Tourism Regional Authority, the publication “Risk Management at Heritage Sites: the Case Study of the Petra World Heritage Site” was launched on June 18 at the Landmark Hotel in Amman.
Petra is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, and Jordan’s most significant heritage site. It was inscribed in the World Heritage list in 1985 and each year is attracting almost one million visitors. However, like every heritage site, Petra is exposed to natural and manmade risks that could harm its visitors and its monuments. To support Jordan and concerned authorities in ensuring better management and protection of the Petra Archaeological Park and its visitors, UNESCO Office in Amman has carried out a 15 month Risk Mapping project in Petra. The project addressed the issues of mapping the property boundaries and identifying guidelines for the buffer zone as well as assessing and recording the condition of the site and identifying natural and human-made risks. A risk assessment and management approach was developed as part of the project’s results. The project was carried out in partnership with the RLICC at the University of Leuven (Belgium), in cooperation with the Department of Antiquities and the Petra Development and Tourism Regional Authority.
The publication “Risk Management at Heritage Sites: the Case Study of the Petra World Heritage Site” is the main outcome of the “Risk Mapping Project at the Petra Archaeological Park” and was presented to a large audience of local authorities and experts from institutions involved in the field of heritage conservation and archaeology in Petra, such as the American Centre of Oriental Research (ACOR), the Institut Francais du Proche Orient (IFPO) and the German Protestant Institute of Archaeology in Amman. The presentation was anticipated by introductory speeches by Anna Paolini Head of the UNESCO Office in Amman, the Petra Development and Tourism Regional Authority Chief Commissioner, the Director of the Petra Archaeological Park and a Member of Parliament for Wadi Musa/Petra.
Safeguarding Petra through the application of a preventive risk strategy is one of UNESCO’s priorities for Jordan. The UNESCO publication presented at the event is the result of extensive field research and constitutes a concrete effort to support not only the site managers at the Petra Archaeological Park but also other national and international stakeholders concerned with the management of heritage sites. This important work outlines the steps of a risk management process at heritage sites and can be used as a tool the identification of risks, assessment of their impact and vulnerability of the monuments of heritage sites. The methodology foresees for the prioritization of monuments based on their importance of significance and magnitude of risk allows the concerned authorities to plan measures and strategies accordingly.
The publication will benefit site managers of heritage sites as well as authorities and agencies responsible for the management of heritage sites worldwide and help them to reduce and monitor risks to their sites and will assist researchers, stakeholders and other professionals in contributing to the preservation of heritage sites worldwide.
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