United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction visits UNESCO’s Siq Stability Project at Petra
The United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Disaster Risk Reduction Margareta Wahlstrom made a special visit to the Petra National Park on March 19th 2013 to welcome Petra to the Resilient Cities Campaign.
During her tour, the SRSG visited UNESCO’s Siq Stability Project that is currently being implemented in Petra as a part of the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority’s overall strategic plan to improve environmental protection and disaster risk reduction to make Petra a resilient city.
Inscribed onto the World Heritage list in 1985, Petra is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world and Jordan’s gem. However, Petra faces a diverse range of risks, particularly from natural and geological hazards such as earthquakes, floods and landslides. The 1.2 km long Siq, which serves as the only tourist entrance to the site is especially fragile and urgently needs assessment and monitoring in order to mitigate the risk of a landslide or rock falls.
UNESCO’s Siq Stability Project looks at the peculiar geological structure of the Siq and develops a corresponding strategy to make it safer for visitors, while preserving the overall integrity and cultural landscape of the archaeological area. UNESCO is identifying, documenting and monitoring unstable areas in the Siq to ensure their stability long-term. In addition, a Geographic Information System (GIS), a 3D computerized model and an interactive virtual tour of the Siq is being developed for the storage, analysis and management of data for the project.
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