The first Petra Integrated Management Plan (IMP) was officially endorsed and launched during a ceremony held under the patronage of H.E. Mrs. Majd Shweikeh, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities. It is the first management plan to be officially endorsed after the inscription of the site on the World Heritage List and the culmination of a long-term partnership between the UNESCO Amman office, the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA) and the Department of Antiquities (DoA).
H.E. Dr. Suleiman Farajat, Chief Commissioner of the PDTRA, welcomed guests to the ceremony. “As Petra has received one million tourists this year, this Integrated Mangement Plan is timely as we work towards strengthening the measures for the protection of the site and managing site users in a way that protects it for the future generations. PDTRA commits to the implementation of the IMP in collaboration with all stakeholders, including the local community”, said Dr. Farajat.
Since 2015, the PDTRA has partnered with UNESCO and the DoA working towards the development of the Plan. This participatory and consultative process initially began with the elaboration of a road map for the identification of possible shortfalls in previous planning initiatives and progressed to encompass the preparation of the plan. The Plan is the result of the collective contributions of several stakeholders, ranging from the local community to academia and the Government, using an inclusive process.
Ms. Farina, UNESCO Representative to Jordan, delivered an address and expressed her appreciation for the collaboration enjoyed throughout the development of the Plan. “Almost 4 years ago, following an urgent World Heritage Committee decision related to the preservation of the property, UNESCO welcomed the request of the DoA to work on the development of a new management plan for the site. The IMP is among the first management plans to reflect the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, rooted in the commitment to address concerns related to environmental sustainability, resource management, and local economic and social development. UNESCO recognizes culture as main contributor to the realization of all 17 SDGs and acknowledges its power as a driver of sustainable development”.
The choice of an integrated, sustainable and participatory approach to heritage preservation has ensured the success of this strategic initiative, merging the often-differing requirements of tourism at the site, local community engagement and heritage conservation and protection. The PDTRA will now lead the implementation of the Plan over the next five years, in accordance with the action plan designed. Capitalizing on joint efforts, PDTRA will be able to implement the Plan in accordance with its key policies, building a strong sense of ownership. H.E. Shweikeh addressed participants and expressed her gratitude.
An exceptional site like Petra requires an integrated, transformative approach to manage heritage and planning. The final Petra Integrated Management Plan fully meets this need by promoting a participatory and sustainable approach to preserving heritage that ensures the tourism objective of the site and the participation of the local community
Speeches were followed by an informative video illustrating the process of developing the plan, with a subsequent presentation of the management plan by the concerned Technical Team members. The event concluded with a musical performance at the Petra Museum, followed by a reception.
Petra was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985. The preservation of this site is a key component of the technical support provided by UNESCO to the national authorities in charge of the conservation and management of Jordan's extraordinary heritage.