Risk Mapping at the Petra Archaeological Park


Petra is a very fragile site due to the perishable nature of the sandstone that composes its monuments, as well as due to its intensely high visitor presence. Subsequently, the development and implementation of a holistic risk management methodology was identified to be necessary for risk mitigation and protection of the site.

In June 2010, a preliminary risk assessment was carried out by the UNESCO Amman Office in coordination with the University of Leuven (Belgium), the University of Jordan, Faculty of Architecture, and Al-Hussein Bin Talal University. The preliminary work served as a foundation to the larger risk mapping project implemented by UNESCO in partnership with the University of Leuven and in cooperation with the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority and two local experts.

The project outcomes were as follows:

  • Identification and field mapping of the World Heritage site boundaries and submission of the acquired results to the World Heritage Centre;
  • Delineation of regulations for activities in the buffer zone of the site;
  • Identification and assessment of natural and man-made risks threatening the Petra Archaeological Park;
  • Capacity building of staff from the Petra Archaeological Park and the Department of Antiquities for the project’s duration;
  • Delineation of a risk management methodology to identify and assess risks at heritage sites, including a case study developed for the Petra Archaeological Park.
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