Research studies

Jordan’s World Heritage and UNESCO Strategies to enhance it in Cooperation with the National Authorities


Prepared by the researcher  :   Eman Ahmad Safouri – Prince Al- Hussein Bin Abdullah || School of International Studies, University of Jordan Amman-Jordan

Democratic Arab Center

Journal of cultural linguistic and artistic studies : Twenty-Second Issue – January 2022

A Periodical International Journal published by the “Democratic Arab Center” Germany – Berlin.

Nationales ISSN-Zentrum für Deutschland
 ISSN  2625-8943

Journal of cultural linguistic and artistic studies

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This study deals with the world heritage sites in Jordan as there are six Jordanian sites included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Basically, these sites are under the auspices of the Jordanian state, its institutions, and its communities. The study defined the symbolism of the contemporary Jordanian cultural heritage. In light of the Jordanian efforts to include Jordanian heritage sites in the UNESCO list, the study aimed to introduce the implemented projects and the financial and technical support provided to them through UNESCO, to preserve them and the positive impact of this on local communities and tourism. The importance of this study lies in providing a fuller knowledge of the strategies and efforts of UNESCO in promoting the World Heritage Sites in Jordan; inscribed on its list, in light of the national efforts made to register them as World Heritage Sites. The study raised a number of questions about the values of Jordan’s historical and cultural heritage, the sites on the World Heritage List, and the types of support provided by UNESCO and its impacts. The study started from the hypothesis that UNESCO contributed to the promotion of these sites and provided them with support in several ways. The study used both an analytical and a descriptive approach. The study concluded that there are vigorous efforts by UNESCO and with national involvement to promote archaeological sites and improve their facilities. The study concluded that UNESCO’s approach and joint efforts to protect and preserve cultural and natural heritage have an effective role that provides benefits locally and globally. The study recommends continuing the efforts made, coordinating and striving for the inclusion of new sites into the UNESCO World Heritage List.

І. Introduction

Through successive civilizations, Jordan has embraced a large number of archaeological sites that are considered an important cultural heritage of the country, to which extent culture reflects the civilization position of any nation or country; it is the outcome of the human relining of his heritage, religion and social and material interaction at each stage of his history of the individual and collective level. This combination constitutes the integration of originality and contemporary. In addition to well-known tourist sites and world heritage sites. Petra, Wadi Rum, Qusair Amra, Umm al-Rasas Bethany (Al-Maghtas), and the city of Salt are classified as World Heritage Sites. Day after day cultural heritage occupies an important role all over the world. In recognition of the importance of heritage and its preservation by some countries, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has ratified a number of international cultural conventions and actively participated in the planning of cultural strategies and policies at the Arab and Islamic levels to promote culture, use technology to preserve and present it to children and youth and raise awareness among members of the local community And the Government of Jordan seeks to deal with the public sector (government) and private (local institutions and regional and international organizations) in order to maintain and benefit. And After the successful inscription of these Jordanian heritage sites in the World Heritage that was created as a result of the need to protect and preserve cultural and natural heritage (Milojković et al., 2020). The cooperation and participation of UNESCO in promoting the World Heritage sites included in its list reflects the keenness and mobilization of efforts aimed at preserving these archaeological sites and the important cultural heritage in Jordan and the world. Besides, the economic and societal benefits derived from supporting World Heritage sites are enormous and thus often provide an attractive form of inclusive development by improving the living conditions of local communities as well as supporting refugees by creating new and new jobs, investments and increasing government profits through foreign exchange.

Study Objectives

1-Firstly, to illustrate the worth values of Jordanian Historical Cultural Heritage.
2-Secondly, to demonstrate the official efforts made by the Jordanian government to join the World Heritage Organization and ratify its agreement.
3-Thirdly, to identify the common projects implemented Through UNESCO in order to conserve these sites. Especially, UNESCO’s technical and financial support for these sites.
4- Fourthly, Determining the positive role that these efforts reflect in strengthening communities and tourism.

The Importance of the Study

The importance of this study is to enhance our knowledge of Jordan’s world heritage sites and offer a comprehensive overview of multiple UNESCO plans and processes to strengthen these sites. In the context of Jordan’s interest in developing its world sites, thus, in light of these efforts, which have had a positive impact, the significance of this study is to shed light on these projects and their outcomes for communities and their people, as well as for the benefits of the country’s tourism.

Study Problem

     World Heritage sites in Jordan represent historical and cultural values at the national and global levels, and since these sites are included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, national efforts have been made to include them on the UNESCO World Heritage List to promote and support them. Accordingly, the problem of this study is to shed light on the importance of these sites and to identify the prominent role of UNESCO in preserving the tangible cultural heritage and protecting Jordanian sites included in the World Heritage List in coordination with the Jordanian authorities.
Study Hypothesis

     Study assumed that since these six Jordanian sites of outstanding global and historical value are included in the World Heritage list, UNESCO was keen to preserve them and offered financial assistance in order to strengthen their cultural and natural historical heritage through providing support, training, and carrying out diverse projects that reflect positively on the local community and ensure their preservation for future generations.
Study Questions

What are the values of Jordan’s historical cultural legacy and world heritage sites inscribed on the World Heritage List in light of Jordanian government efforts to inscribe them on the WH list?

– How do the continuous efforts of the UNESCO organization assist in bolstering Jordan’s world historical heritage?

– Another question is whether supporting the world’s historical heritage in Jordan benefits local communities, and tourism positively.

Terms defined

According to the Jordanian Antiquities Law No. 21 of 1988 and Law No. 23 of 2004, antiquities can be defined as anything, whether movable or static, that was formed by man before 1750 CE (Seymore, 2014). However, if humans shaped the body after 1750, it is considered a heritage rather than archaic. This muddled distinction has been used by the Department of Agriculture over the past few decades and has proven to be a problem within the archaeological community.

For the purpose of this paper, terms in this study will be defined using ICOMOS, the International Council on Monuments and Sites. According to ICOMOS, archaeological sites will refer to sites where human activities once occurred and some form of physical evidence has been left behind.

As there are different definitions, conservation (or historical preservation) will be defined as all activities involved in the protection and preservation of heritage resources. It includes the study, protection, development, management, maintenance and interpretation of heritage resources, whether they are objects, buildings, structures or environments (ICCROM , 2011).

Historical cultural heritage will be used synonymously, referring to the belief systems, values, philosophical systems, knowledge, behaviors, customs, arts, history, experience, languages, social relationships, institutions, material goods and creations that belong to a group of people and are passed down from generation to generation (Seymore, 2014).

Previous Studies

From landscape heritage to tourism, examining the protection of a heritage or natural monument: the Beauquier Act of April 21, 1906, the 1930 Act: new tools of limited scope, the development of the protection and promotion of natural heritage, and towards an integrated approach to natural and cultural heritage. The study identified more than a century of definitions and tools for the preservation of natural and cultural landscapes, and also showed that the first joint mention of modern cultural and natural heritage dated back to 1972 in the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The study indicated that twenty years later, in 1992, “cultural landscapes” were added to this list of sites. Even so, in France, from the Beauquier law of April 21, 1906, regulating the protection of natural sites and monuments of an artistic character, to the law of July 7, 2016 relating to freedom of creation, architecture and The study added that the consideration of cultural landscapes is considered ancient and has developed much from the point of view of protecting historical sites in their environment or creating protected natural areas (Koupaliantz , 2018).

UNESCO’s recognition of a place as a World Heritage Site (WHS) is fundamental to preserving its historical and artistic heritage and, at the same time, encouraging visits to that area (Santa-Cruz & López-Guzmán 2017). Heritage, Preservation and Societies provides valuable and interesting insight into the world of heritage preservation practitioners, giving a rich overview of the methods, tools, and approaches applied in this field. Preserving heritage benefits the community itself above all else (Bakker, 2018).


In order to achieve its objectives, the researcher used qualitative methodology to describe accurately these strategies and their impacts in support of Jordanian historical sites; a combination methodology based on a descriptive analytical approach was utilized for the data collection and analysis.

Data collection in this study is drawn from journals, websites, and a mixture of literature and material culture reviews on the topic of World Heritage Sites.

The structure of the study

First and foremost, Introduction

The second topic is Jordan’s world heritage.

The third topic is UNESCO’s role in preserving cultural tangible heritage.
The fourth topic is The Enhancement of the heritage sites’ impacts on the local community and tourism.

. Jordan’s World Heritage

Section One: Jordan’s Hashemite Kingdom: Cultural Heritage

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, since its establishment, has attached great importance to cultural issues at the governmental and non-governmental levels, The Kingdom continues to realize the importance of its culture in sustainable development and cultural dialogue. This concept includes cultural heritage, which constitutes the basic elements of identity and social life. Cohesion between the various communities and minorities in the country (ICH.UNESCO, 2010)

 Jordan is a country rich in history, located at the geographical crossroads of civilizations. Since the Paleolithic, it has been home to local cities and kingdoms, particularly the Nabateans. It was also subject to Greco-Roman, Umayyad, Egyptian and Ottoman influences, each of which left a rich tangible and intangible heritage world (World Bank Group, 2020). Jordan is home to many cultures and religions and always finds a form of diversity of civilizations. Cultural legacies represent all the comprehensive values, traditions and heritage that represent the history and civilization of a society and a reflection of the cultural, economic and civilizational values inherited from the ancestors. Due to its strategic location in the middle of the ancient world (JUST, 2013).

Section Two: Jordan’s Sites: Inscription Efforts

Jordan ratified the World Cultural and Natural Heritage Convention on Monday, May 5th, 1975 (WHC.UNESCO, n.d.). The Convention on the Protection of the World’s Cultural and Natural Heritage 1972 states that some of the world’s sites are of “outstanding universal value” and must form part of humanity’s common heritage. This convention, commonly known as the “World Heritage Convention”, has been joined by 190 countries, which have become part of an international community uniting their forces with a common mission to identify and preserve the world’s most important natural and cultural heritage sites. The World Heritage List currently includes 962 sites in 157 countries; 745 cultural, 188 natural, and 29 mixed (UNESCO, n.d.).

Jordan was a member of the World Heritage Committee for the years 1980–1987 and 2007–2011 (WHC.UNESCO, n.d.)..  Petra and Qusair Amra were among the first World Heritage Sites in Jordan to be inscribed at the ninth session of the World Heritage Committee held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris from 2 to 6 December 1985 (WHC.UNESCO, n.d.).. Through the nomination that arose from the country of origin of the site, The Old City of Jerusalem and its walls were first nominated by Jordan as a World Heritage Site, and were accepted in 1981. A year later, in 1982, the site was inscribed on the List of World Heritage Sites in Danger (WHC.UNESCO, n.d.) .
A handful of years later, Umm Al-Rasas (Kastrom Mefa’a) was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2004, a few years later, and the list also included Wadi Rum Protected Area in 2011. Then, the Baptism Site “Bethany beyond the Jordan” (Al-Maghtas) joined the world heritage list in 2015. Recently, in 2021, As-Salt-The Place of Tolerance and Urban Hospitality has become the sixth World Heritage Site in Jordan. These sites are classified as cultural heritage, with the exception of Wadi Rum, which is a mixed classification (WHC.UNESCO, n.d.). Fourteen sites were also registered on the tentative list of Jordanian World Heritage Sites (ICH.UNESCO , n.d.). In addition to an ongoing nomination, the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Jordan also includes three topics that reflect the cultural her9itage of Jordanian society (ICH.UNESCO , n.d.). In 2017, Jordan won membership in the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), receiving the highest votes during the elections held at the thirty-ninth session of the UNESCO General Conference, held in Paris (Natcom, 2017).

Ш. UNESCO’s Role in Preserving Cultural Tangible Heritage

Reflecting on the fate of our cultural heritage means first reconsidering the concept of heritage itself. Expanding the term to include increasingly semantic areas made it increasingly difficult to formulate a strict definition, but it also led to a refocus not only on the heritage objects themselves but also on people’s attitudes towards them (Cardaci & Versaci, 2017).

Heritage can help define and develop a sense of belonging and identity for local communities and build a cultural and sustainable future for territories. It can represent a real opportunity to create and strengthen links between the past and the present and to obtain a lasting balance between the principles of social justice, economic justice, and environmental respect. At the basis of this vision are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which are key elements in developing strategies for people-centered development. This process starts with the recognition of the historical, cultural, and environmental values ​​of heritage, a process that needs to be considered as the result of dynamic and relational processes. As a result, its preservation is a complex phenomenon that requires active rather than passive investigation (Cardaci & Versaci, 2017).

The functions of UNESCO’s World Heritage are to encourage countries to sign the World Heritage Convention and to ensure the protection of their natural and cultural heritage; encourage States Parties to nominate sites within their national territory for inscription on the World Heritage List; develop management plans and establish systems for reporting on the state of conservation of these states’ World Heritage sites; assist States Parties to protect World Heritage properties by providing technical assistance and professional training, as well as provide emergency assistance to World Heritage sites in imminent danger; support public awareness activities of States Parties for the preservation of their cultural and natural heritage; urge countries to cooperate in preserving the world’s cultural and natural heritage (Whc.UNESCO , n.d.) .

UNESCO’s cultural role concentrates on providing technical assistance to governmental institutions concerned with the preservation of tangible cultural heritage and the protection of sites inscribed on the World Heritage List through procedures that lead to the improvement of their management and preservation in line with the World Heritage Convention (DOA, n.d.).

  • Amman UNESCO Office Efforts

Jordan joined UNESCO on June 14, 1950.And in 1986, the Amman office became the Regional Office for Education, Science and Communication, then in 1996 the UNESCO Regional Office in the Field of Culture and Communication, and then the National Office for Jordan in 2000. The Council of International Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) which was established in 2019; its Jordan’s branch, takes part in the protection of this national legacy in support and promote the preservation of Jordanian cultural heritage and to manage its sustain (ICOMOS, n.d.).

The UNESCO office in Amman works closely with the Department of Antiquities and numerous non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to ensure the sustainable protection and effective management of World Heritage sites, and supports the preparation of nomination files (ACOR, 2010). The Department of Antiquities Which was established just two years after Jordan’s formation, in 1923 (DOA , n.d.) , began to enact laws and regulations that would protect its ancient legacy. In the decades that followed, starting with George Horsfield, Lankester Harding, Awni Dajani, Abdel-Karim Al-Gharaybeh, and others, scientific documentation and reports began to play major roles in recovering, preserving, and understanding this heritage. Publication of the progress at that time. The decision, in 1976, to prohibit the trading of antiquities has helped to keep many archaeological objects within Jordan and to improve preservation of its heritage (ACOR, 2021).

Technical assistance is provided through UNESCO Amman Office for Jordanian national authorities to enhance the management and conservation of cultural and natural heritage sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and the sites where nominated on the Tentative List (UNESCO , n.d.). A general policy has adopted to give the cultural and natural heritage a function in the life of the community and to integrate the protection of that heritage into comprehensive planning programmers (Article 5, 1972). Accordingly, the cultural team participated in supporting the development of the Petra Integrated Management Plan, which was officially approved in November 2019 in coordination with Petra Development & Tourism Region Authority and Department of Antiquities. The management plan is a practical operational tool to achieve an appropriate balance between the needs of cultural and natural resources and heritage preservation. Tourism and access to sustainable economic development and the interests of the local community. In addition to providing technical assistance to review and develop the Umm Al-Rasas site management plan (Whc.UNESCO, n.d.).

Regarding protection and management demands in Petra, the property is a protected area within the Petra Archaeological Park managed by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. While the responsibility for the overall planning and implementation of infrastructure projects at the site rests largely with the Petra Regional Authority (PRA)-in origin the Petra Regional Planning Council (PRPC)-but has now expanded to include the social and economic well-being of the local communities in the area (Whc.UNESCO, n.d.).

There is a long-term need for a framework for sustainable development and management practices aimed at protecting the property from damage caused by visitor pressure while enhancing revenues from tourism that would contribute to the economic and social viability of the area  (Whc.UNESCO, n.d.). Whereas, since Petra was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List, the United Nations approved and funded numerous requests concerning offering cultural and emergency assistance for these sites, which were represented by: 14 June 2010 Urgent Investigation of Rock Stability in the Siq in Petra; October 14, 2001 World Heritage Skills Development Workshop for Youth in the Arab Region, re-approved on March 22, 2002; December 09, 1995 Control of flash floods in Petra; and December 11, 1987 Contribution to research work on weathering and subsequent protection of the Petra properties (Whc.UNESCO, n.d.).
In terms of protection and management requirements in Quseir Amra. The property is a protected according to (Article 8, the Antiquities Law, 1935, & the Temporary Law, 1976)) the site is managed by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities through its local office in Zara.

The staff of the Department of Antiquities in Amman, including an archaeologist, an architect, a foreman and four workers, conduct periodic monitoring, minor repairs and maintenance services (Whc.UNESCO, n.d.).. For Quseir Amra also, it has been approved to make the following requests: 26 February 2013: Conservation of mosaic floors at the World Heritage sites of Quseir Amra, 13 November 1998: Visitors’ Centre at Quseir Amra, and it was reapproved on January 8, 1999, and January 1995. Urgent work on the site of Quseir Amra (Whc.UNESCO, n.d.).

Umm Al-Rasas property protected under the Antiquities Law is managed by the Department of Antiquities of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. Funding was provided by the European Commission for the site conservation and presentation strategy for Umm al-Rasas as part of a broader program “Protecting and Promoting Cultural Heritage in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan” which aims to raise the quality of research and restoration, as well as the management of the site and provide facilities and visitor information. A revision of the boundaries of the World Heritage property could be considered in light of the greater expanse of land now owned by the Ministry of Agriculture. The partnership established between the Ministry of Tourism and the local community will continue to engage the community in protecting properties and enabling them to benefit from tourism. The approved requests in serving for the site are: February 16, 2009 Investigations and emergency measures for the restoration of the Stylite Tower of Um-er-Rasas. And on January 26, 2007, the restoration of the “Stylite” tower of Um Er Rasas (Whc.UNESCO, n.d.). In addition to the existing protection for the property, special consideration may need to be given to archaeological artefacts to prevent their removal from the property.

The primary plan guiding the management and development program of Wadi Rum Protected Area (WRPA) is the Aqaba Special Economic Zone land use plan, which covers the whole governorate of Aqaba and is administered by the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority. The property has an up to date management plan and an effective management unit, including rangers and other staff dedicated to the management of the property. The management plan should provide emphasis to the management of the natural and cultural values of the property (Whc.UNESCO, n.d.).

Protection and management requirements At Baptism Site “Bethany beyond the Jordan” (Al-Maghtas), the property is designated as an antique site upon (Antiquities Law 21/1988). The objective of these laws is to protect the property from potential future threats, focused mainly on development and tourism projects that might jeopardize the nature and character of the site and its immediate surroundings. A construction moratorium was issued for the property, preventing any new construction except those exclusively dedicated to the protection of archaeological remains. The protection measures at both the national level and, in particular, the Baptism Site Commission are effective and will, if consistently implemented, prevent negative impacts on the property. The World Heritage Committee further encouraged all concerned state parties to ensure the protection of the western banks of the Jordan River to preserve important vistas and sightlines of the property. The authority responsible for the management of the baptism site at Bethany Beyond the Jordan is the Baptism Site Commission, which is directed by an independent board of trustees appointed by H.M. King Abdullah II bin al-Hussein and chaired by H.R.H. Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad. Revenues generated on site are utilized for the administration and management of the property. As a result of these adequate financial resources, the management team is well staffed and qualified. The management is guided by a management plan adopted in May 2015. The management plan is a comprehensive analytical tool of the present state of conservation and might require some further streamlining to guide management strategies and activities in the future. The current management arrangements already in place are largely adequate (Whc.UNESCO, n.d.). In addition, AL-Salt, the City of Tolerance and Urban Hospitality has recently added the World Heritage Meeting.

  • Content of Existing Projects

1-Support livelihoods

In line with government priorities, this initiative seeks to engage Jordanian and Iraqi experts, as well as Syrian youth in their local communities, in the conservation and preservation of cultural heritage sites for tourism in the north of Jordan (Irbid and Mafraq) and in Iraq (Erbil and Dohuk) at the same time. The initiative addresses the creation of decent jobs in the short term with a focus on developing sustainable support for cultural heritage preservation with complementary participation from the private sector.

2-Preserving Petra’s Nabatean Architectural heritage

Inscription cultural or natural property in WHL includes not only recognition of its outstanding global value, but also a strong responsibility to protect it (Francesco, 2018). In keeping with UNESCO’s long-standing approach to preserving Petra’s distinctive heritage and building on previous initiatives at the site, this project aims to ensure the preservation of one of Petra’s most notable rock facades: the Palace Necropolis. Following a feasibility study for the royal tombs water management system, the project aims to address the critical need for developing local heritage preservation skills while preserving one of the country’s most prominent rock facades and raising community awareness about the importance of heritage preservation.

3-Petra Heritage Conservation and Risk Prevention

Through The Siq, the magnificent ancient entrance to Petra, and for a distance of 1.2 km, the road to Petra Monument is reachable. Petra is particularly vulnerable to hydro-geological hazards, which endanger the archeology, visitors, and local community. Since 2009, UNESCO and its major partners have been striving to mitigate the immediate risks of rock fall and flooding in order to preserve and ensure the long-term viability of this natural wonder. Benefiting from the achievements of the “Siq Stability” project, the overall objective of the initiative is to enhance the capabilities of young people and provide them with job opportunities.

4-Employment Opportunities

The Cultural Heritage Preservation Initiative seeks to create short-term job opportunities through the implementation of “cash-for-work” schemes for Jordanians and Syrians as a contribution to sustainable social and economic development while benefiting from culture as a source of resilience. Basic rehabilitation and maintenance of cultural heritage sites, in particular the archaeological sites in Mafraq Governorate and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Petra, will be conducted for tourism, which will provide short-term employment opportunities for Jordanians and Syrian refugees living in host communities. These initiatives link humanitarian and development assistance to a resilience-based approach and provide a venue for long-term investments in cultural heritage protection, while addressing urgent job creation needs.

5-Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage

The UNESCO office in Amman provides technical support to the Jordanian national authorities to protect the intangible cultural heritage and works to strengthen the capacity of national authorities, local communities and actors concerned. In response to consistent with the “protection of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention” in 2003, the exercises began to strengthen capacity building in UNESCO’s strategy for global capacity building. UNESCO has played a leading initiative to train the local community in Mafraq on the inventory of intangible cultural heritage-based society in an attempt to collect valuable traditional knowledge (UNESCO, n.d.).

6-Heritage Emergency Fund

In response to the need for a strategic action plan to enhance Petra’s resilience to flash floods, in addition to the 2018 events that occurred at the site, UNESCO responded to a request for support from the Petra Development & Tourism Region Authority and the provision of funds from the Emergency Heritage Fund. The support will enable Petra Development & Tourism Region Authority to identify priority flash flood mitigation measures at the site in the short term and further implement the preliminary designs that will be developed as part of the current activity. The Heritage Emergency Fund, established by UNESCO in 2015, is a multi-donor, non-earmarked funding mechanism that seeks to respond quickly and effectively to natural disasters (UNESCO, n.d.).
Forms of support for world historical sites in Jordan

Petra is also a fragile site that faces a variety of risks, ranging from those posed by environmental factors to those attributable to tourism. In recent years, dangerous natural phenomena have been increasingly recorded affecting the site, specifically the Siq, a 1.2 km long natural gorge that is the only tourist entrance to the archaeological park, posing a great threat to cultural heritage and visitors. These recent events prompted the UNESCO Amman Office to collaborate with national authorities to develop a strategy for the prevention and mitigation of the phenomenon of instability. Therefore, it contributes more to the management and preservation of the site through the implementation of the project “Siq Stability,” funded by Italy for several years, where actions mainly focus on the analysis of the conditions of stability of “Siq” slopes, the installation of an integrated monitoring system, and the identification and implementation of miti On the other hand, residents’ satisfaction and perceptions towards local administration were analyzed in a world heritage site such as the Petra region in Jordan. To contribute to the context of host and guest interaction at World Heritage Sites, we investigated satisfaction with local management. Using social exchange theory and partial least squares structural equation modeling, (…) it is found that these factors play an important role in residents’ perceptions of the economic, environmental, social, and cultural impact of tourism development. The findings suggest that perceptions strongly influence satisfaction with local management (Alrwajfah et al., 2021).

  1. Enhancement of the heritage sites impacts on the local community and tourism
    local community is a group of interacting people sharing an environment. In human communities, intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks, and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness (Definitions, n.d.). The Jordanian local communities have multi-national people that share common cultures and values and participate in supporting their lives through creating new ways and activities to increase income, especially for those living in heritage sites (UNESCO, n.d.). The positive impact of a World Heritage listing on local communities includes a reasonable expectation that a World Heritage designation benefits an area by elevating the status of the World Heritage site. Thus, this will certainly encourage investment as well as promote tourism. And the World Heritage Sites affect for the benefit of local communities (Lekaota, 2018).

      Regarding Key Factors for the Impacts of Designating a World Heritage Site, there are three main factors behind these changes and impacts, and previous studies have found that they center around the following: rapid tourism development after registration as a World Heritage Site; the high level of demand for the site after it was registered as a World Heritage Site by local tourists; and the attitudes of local people to preserve the heritage and cultural value of a World Heritage Site (Jimura,, 2011). The adoption of an open door policy in the postmodern era, which required the transformation of a city into a World Heritage city, has numerous implications for the local community (Al-bqour, 2020). Previous studies indicate that the designation of a World Heritage Site promotes local identity, unites the spirit of the community, and increases local pride. And that access to the World Heritage Site enhances national, regional, and local political support (Al-bqour, 2020). And that access to the World Heritage Site enhances national, regional and local political support (Smith, 2002), and can become a center of nationalism through the promotion of identity, which leads to an increase in the interest of the local population in the city that has entered the World Heritage List (Al-bqour, 2020). Previous studies also indicate that the designation of a World Heritage Site could enhance the relationship between the various agencies with site-related interests (Al-bqour, 2020).
The UNESCO’s project (Job Opportunities for the Protection of Cultural Heritage in Jordan) aims to invest in the preservation of cultural heritage while creating short-term employment opportunities for Jordanians and Syrians. The project, which began in 2019, seeks to contribute to social development and sustainable economics through the use of culture as a source of resilience. The project objective will be achieved through the primary restoration and protection of two cultural heritage sites, Al Rehab Village (Mafraq) and the Petra World Heritage Site (Ma’an), for the purposes of heritage preservation and tourism, as well as the development of short-term heritage sites. Job opportunities for Syrian refugees and Jordanians living in host communities through a cash-for-work approach. It targets segments of the local communities of the site in Petra and vulnerable Jordanians and Syrian refugees living in the vicinity of Rehab. The project also supports the Department of Antiquities in ensuring the better preservation of heritage sites in Jordan and improving their offering for tourism purposes. In addition to provide short-term job opportunities for 270 workers, 150 in Petra and 120 in Rehab, 20% of whom are women and 4% are people with disabilities. And In Rehab, the project’s goal is to engage up to 50 percent of Syrian workers (Ghaith, 2021).

Heritage preservation practices in Jordan are at the fore in several areas, and these represent leaders in the sector: The Jordan Department of Antiquities – the second arm of the Ministry of    Tourism and Antiquities in charge of excavations, preservation and preservation of heritage sites and the administration of Kingdom Museums (ACOR Jordan, 2021). Petra National Trust works on conservation projects, advocacy, and education and outreach programs in the field of culture of innovation with public school students aged 7-8 and tutors with the aim of building awareness and pride in the value of cultural heritage in the daily lives of local communities, thereby fostering a new generation of leaders in the culture  (ACOR Jordan, 2021). The Jordan Museum serves as a comprehensive national center for learning and knowledge that reflects Jordan’s history and culture in a joint educational way. The Jordan Museum also provides a good model for managing tiered museums and interacting with its visitors  (ACOR Jordan, 2021).
World Heritage sites are committed to taking the lead and demonstrating themselves as global models in the sound management of cultural sites for tourism. Tourism has a significant impact on societies and countries. Usually these effects are; Economic, social, cultural and environmental contribute to sustainable development. Communities can benefit from heritage and cultural assets by sharing them (Graham et al., 200), in exhibitions for tourists, heritage is treasure.

Cultural heritage tourism is promoted in many places in the world as a tool for economic development (Abuamoud, 2014).  And it has been argued that the involvement of local communities in long-term archaeological fieldwork and in the restoration and preservation of archaeological sites in year-round programs may aid employment, training and education at the local level (Kafafi, 2021).

Returning to the hypothesis and questions raised at the beginning of this study, it can now be emphasized that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is working to protect world heritage sites in Jordan in coordination and cooperation with national actors, as well as local communities. Conservation of heritage resources plays an important role in supporting the economy, local tourism development plans, promotion of historical and archaeological areas, community support and job creation. The management of World Heritage sites focuses on the conservation of nature, culture, and local development.

This study shows that UNESCO’s support, in cooperation with local authorities and supporters, contributes to the comprehensive development of world heritage sites and provides societal benefit both for citizens and refugees. Transferring the positive value of world heritage sites. Based on the World Heritage Convention, its output is unique because it integrates the concepts of nature protection and preservation of cultural sites and strongly emphasizes the role of local communities. It is also an effective tool for the treatment and maintenance of sections and areas of archaeological sites, mass tourism, sustainable social and economic development, reduction of natural disasters, and other contemporary challenges.

The study found a set of results that can be summarized as follows:

  • Heritage is the memory of peoples and societies, and the preservation of the cultural and knowledge heritage of each society is the link between the past, the present and the future for generations to come. This is the method of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as it seeks to encourage countries around the world to protect and preserve cultural and natural heritage This is embodied in the international agreement known as the “Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage”, which was adopted by UNESCO in 1972. The Jordanian authorities also have a key role in seeking to include the six sites on the World Heritage List and signing that agreement.
    • The country’s communities contribute fundamentally and importantly to the enhancement of heritage, especially at the world heritage sites. At the same time, the results of the development of sites return to the benefit of the community in these sites, on a large scale, the development of the standard of living and the provision of many options to provide income for citizens and refugees, and provide job opportunities and practical experience.
    • Returning to the positive effects on tourism, there is a close coexistence between heritage and tourism, and this is confirmed by the study, so that the desire to preserve archaeological sites and the desire to visit them is always a mutual incentive between the history of heritage preservation and the tourism movement, especially the World Heritage Sites that occupy a global and historical position.

    This study has recommended the followings:

  • given the importance and positive effects of support for the promotion of world heritage sites, the study recommends continuing efforts, communication, and intensifying follow-up with UNESCO in order to gain support and nominate other future sites. This will no doubt be done with the knowledge and intense interest of the relevant state authorities and those involved in the development of these sites.
  • It also recommends the education of world heritage sites and the flexibility of access to promote them in the field of world tourism more widely. Together with local authorities and tourism actors, this ensures the active participation and participation of local communities in the success of tourism activities in world heritage and community and economic development.
  • The study also recommends researchers in this area to research the support to be given to the city of Al Salt, the city of tolerance and community solidarity. This is to ensure an extension of academic experience and research outreach.


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