Consultancy Opportunity in Jordan- Petra Site Conservation Work Plan

Monday, March 5, 2012




Currently, Petra Archaeological Park (PAP) faces twin challenges: archaeological conservation and tourism management. The monuments of Petra are under several forms of attack, and these are natural as well as human.  Natural causes include wind-borne sand particles and water that infiltrate the rocks.  From a human perspective, the preservation of the site is compromised by the growing flow of tourists in the park, and the lucrative sideline activities this has engendered.

A new law governing the entire Petra region was published in the official Gazette, in August 2009. Under this law, an authority called the Petra Tourism and Development Regional Authority (PTDRA) was established, and with it, considerable financial and administrative independence. The PDTRA is mandated to improve all developmental aspects of the zone, including: tourism, economic, social and cultural aspects, as well as local community development. A council of commissioners manages the Authority and oversees its affairs. The responsibility for managing the historic resources of PAP is collaboratively undertaken by the PDTRA and the Department of Antiquities (DOA) of Jordan.  The proposed Conservation Action Plan for PAP is a joint initiative of these government agencies.

The new law sets out that the financial resources of the PTDRA are derived from the state general budget as well as a share of PAP’s entry fees. This is defined to be at least 35% of the collected revenue, with 10% of this amount to be allocated to antiquities’ restoration, reconstruction and maintenance.

In light of the allocation of funds for the conservation of antiquities, there is a need, and an opportunity, for PAP to improve PAP conservation and protection measures, both administratively and technically. As one means of moving this forward, a newly proposed PAP By-Law calls for the formation of a Scientific Committee intended to establish park conservation strategies and oversee conservation activities within the park.

The proposed Conservation Action Plan is intended to provide a focused response to conservation and maintenance needs of the site fabric.  It therefore represents an important component of the overall ‘Site Conservation and Management Plan’, but in itself is not the integrated, comprehensive plan required for the management of PAP.  PDTRA is thus incrementally undertaking to compile a PAP ‘global’ plan with sector studies in key components which will need to also include, for example, infrastructure, tourism management, poverty alleviation, risk management, natural environment conservation, etc.


Through this consultancy, PAP seeks to compile a comprehensive list of conservation recommendations that focus on the site’s immovable cultural heritage. The initiative will define the park’s priority projects and most pressing conservation needs, as identified by current site management, conservation specialists, and selected national and international agencies, NGOs and academia. It is envisioned that this plan will build upon previous management plans and recommendations yet to be implemented. The planning process is to be a collaborative one, using the workshop format to engage stakeholders for priority identification and implementation assistance.

Upon compilation of the comprehensive Conservation Action Plan, PAP anticipates that stakeholders and contributors will endorse the plan, such that PAP can coordinate efforts in support of its implementation. 


The Consultant(s) is intended to work as the project team leader, coordinating efforts with assigned PAP/DOA staff and other human resources as allocated. He/she shall use his/her education, considerable experience, and additional understanding in order to analyze and define a number of projects, per the following details:

1.     Conduct a literature review of previous site conservation plans, conservation/excavation records and associated archival documentation to establish a baseline framework.

2.     Undertake necessary consultations with agencies and individuals who are engaged in site conservation or on-going excavation initiatives.

3.     Using existing sources, summarize the site’s cultural significance, and its values, historical context and phases of development. 

4.     Develop conservation principles and protection policies for the immovable cultural heritage, based on existing conservation doctrines and best practices for administrative and technical applications.

5.     In appreciation of the scale of the park, formulate a zoning plan to characterize variations in conservation management strategies, taking into consideration character-defining features, intensity of visitor access, hazards and physical degradation.

6.     Develop a multi-level list of priority conservation projects to facilitate implementation scheduling, using the zoning plan as well as assessment parameters which include, for example:

-     Character defining cultural significance

-     Complexity of the conservation/restoration works

-     Accessibility, public safety and known risks 

-     Availability of human resources and internal capacity within PAP

-     Availability of fiscal resources and allocations within PAP

-     Availability of external funds and expertise 

-     Categorization of administrative, technical, material and/or equipment requisites

-     Ongoing/planned site initiatives by national and foreign field missions.

7.     Based on the above, structure of the conservation projects list shall include, but not limited to, the following schedule definition:

a.     Short term implementation projects:

Projects proposed for the implementation of a one-year program of conservation works using the internal staff capacities of PAP and DOA. The focus is to be on-going, day-to-day conservation works and modest physical conservation projects, with special attention to the identified priority projects. Projects are to be proposed for implementation by the PAP/DOA technical teams of archaeologists and engineers in conjunction with the administrative team in charge of monitoring projects.

b.     Medium to long term implementation projects:

This level shall include larger projects in terms of complexity, priority, funding and technical expertise. The focus is to be placed on projects that require external support, whether at the national and international levels, and intended to include, for example, local experts and NGO’s, international specialized agencies, universities and consultants.    

c.     ‘Monuments at risk’ projects:

This level highlights severe cases of deterioration or areas in danger of imminent collapse within the park.


The consultant shall be responsible for the delivery of a final report, including, but not limited to, a comprehensive priority matrix of proposed conservation action projects in PAP, per the details highlighted in section 3 of this document.


As a part of the documentation research, a search of archives of the PDTRA, PAP, DOA, the Petra National Trust, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the ICOMOS Documentation Centre bibliographic resources is proposed. The following reports form a short list of baseline resources for review:

·     Strategic Master Plan for the Petra Region, ACT Consultants with Design Workshop and JCP Amman/Jordan, 2011

·     The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Report and the Archaeological and Cultural Resources Study for Petra Back Exit Road, Engicon Consultants, Jordan, 2011

·     PAP Back Road Alternative Exit and Shuttle Strategy, USAID/Siyaha, 2011

·     World Heritage Center/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring Mission Report, 2010

·     PAP Operational Priorities Plan 2010-2015, USAID/Siyaha, 2010

·     The Petra Trails Plan, USAID/Siyaha, 2010

·     New Petra Tourism Regional Authority Law, 2009

·     PAP Visitors’ Services Plan, USAID/Siyaha, 2008

·     Petra Improved Visitor Services Plan, USAID/Siyaha, 2008

·     Park Rangers Manual, USAID/Siyaha, 2008

·     The Events Instructions Manual, USAID/Siyaha, 2008

·     Petra PRA, USAID/Siyaha 2007

·     Standard Sanitization Procedures For Petra National Park, 2008

·     Petra Archaeological Park Operational Plan, US-National Park Service, 2000

·     Management Analysis and Recommendations for the Petra World Heritage Site, US/ICOMOS, 1995

·     Petra Management Plan, UNESCO-SECA, 1994

·     Master Plan for the Protection and Use of Petra National Park, US-National Park Service, 1968


The Consultant shall have the following minimum qualifications to be considered for this consultancy:

Professional experience:

·     Established track in site management planning for complex archaeological sites (that include the elements of conservation, tourism management, local communities, among others).

·     Experience in site conservation and management planning at least in three international sites. 

·     Knowledge and application of best international public sector models in preserving and maintaining heritage and cultural sites and presenting them to the public and visitors.

·     Practical experience in developing/implementing modern approaches and procedures in the management of publicly-owned heritage sites (preferably with a focus on non-moveable archaeological/antiquity resources),  and understanding the interaction between heritage preservation and tourism development & promotion that leads to an increase in tourist arrivals and receipts;

·     An understanding of the various policy and legal requirements for best management of heritage and preservation sites;

·     Proper understanding of integrated planning for cultural/archaeological heritage sites and landscapes;

·     Good understanding of the role of NGO's and other organizations involved in heritage preservation;

·     At least 18 years of working experience in areas related to the above.

·     Previous experience and knowledge of Petra Archaeological Park


Educational Qualifications:

·     Masters Degree or higher in Archaeology, Heritage Conservation, Heritage Resource Management, Architecture, Environment or similar fields.


It is anticipated that the field work will start around end April 2012. Interested candidates should send their CVs to the email address no later than March 05, 2012. A cover letter, summarizing key qualifications that serve the purpose of the assignment and examples of similar engagements, should be sent with the CV.

Institution or Company offering position: 
Petra Archaeological Park
Contact Name: 
Maysa M. Shahateet
9626 5200 555 Ext. 212