27.01.2014 - UNESCO Office in Amman

Petra Siq Stability project Advisory Committee meets to evaluate project’s progress and establish priorities for the coming year

The advisory committee meeting of the Siq Stability project was held at the UNESCO Office in Amman, on January 26th 2014. The meeting, aimed to assess the preliminary results achieved during the first phase of the project, saw the participation of the Italian Institute of Environmental Protection and Research – Geological Survey of Italy, the Zamani Research Group (University of Cape Town), Petra National Trust, main project partners, and was attended by concerned Jordanian authorities, including Dr. Monther Jamhawi, Director-General of the Department of Antiquities (DoA), and Dr. Emad Hijazeen, Commissioner for the Petra Archaeological Park. External international experts, Dr. P. Bobrowsky and Dr. J. Vlcko, called to assess and discuss the technical challenges of the project were also part of the meeting.

In this intensive half-day session, an outline of the different project components was provided, as well as an overview of the project’s progress against planned activities, definition of a priority plan for the coming year, to include capacity building initiatives, knowledge/technological transfer, project dissemination, and project sustainability. The meeting was preceded by a site visit to Petra by project partners and external experts to visually assess the monitoring devices installed in summer 2013.

Natural and geological hazards are some of the major risks towards which the World Heritage site of Petra is exposed to. Primary objective of the Siq Stability project is an in-depth assessment of landslide risk in the Petra Siq based on engineering geology field survey and implementation of sustainable monitoring techniques, leading to the identification of guidelines for sustainable landslide mitigation strategies and policies for management, conservation and protection of the site. The engineering geological analysis is supported by the production of a 3D computerized model of the Siq as well as an extensive and interactive video fly-through of the site based on panorama photographs.

The meeting was part of the strategies put in place to monitor and evaluate the project’s work and the outputs of project activities done in the framework of the project ‘Siq Stability – Sustainable Monitoring Techniques for Assessing Instability of Slopes in the Siq of Petra, Jordan’, funded by the Italian Government with USD 1 million, and implemented by the UNESCO Office in Amman in partnership with the Italian Institute of Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), the Zamani Research Group at the University of Cape Town, the Petra National Trust (PNT), and in cooperation with the Department of Antiquities and the Petra Development and Tourism Regional Authority.

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