‘Future for Our Past’ project launched to safeguard cultural heritage sites

(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Princess Dana Firas, president of the Petra National Trust (PNT) and ECOMOS-Jordan, and UNESCO goodwill ambassador for Cultural Heritage, led the inaugural ceremony of the "Future for Our Past" heritage conservation project on Sunday. اضافة اعلان

The event, which took place at the PNT's Cultural Hub Bayt Yaish, marked the beginning of an experimental project aimed at safeguarding cultural heritage sites facing threats from climate change or conflicts.

Comprehensive program
The project idea was originally inspired by a call from National Geographic in 2021, which sought proposals focusing on the protection of cultural heritage sites vulnerable to climate change and conflicts.

The "Future for Our Past" project aims to develop a comprehensive program that assists stakeholders at heritage sites in understanding the potential impacts of future climate changes.

By doing so, it empowers them to create sustainable management plans, enhance community resilience, and equip local leaders with effective tools to manage culturally significant sites.

Challenges and urgency
Princess Dana stressed the significance of addressing the contemporary challenges posed by climate change on cultural heritage sites and the surrounding communities.

She urged a collective introspection on our preparedness to respond to the changing natural landscape and expedite measures to protect both people and sites.

Suleiman Farajat, chief commissioner of the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA), emphasized that climate change is a global challenge.

He reaffirmed the authority's commitment to involving local communities in decision-making processes and drawing on the experiences of other nations to tackle this issue effectively.

Phased approach to implementation
The "Future for Our Past" project follows a two-phase implementation plan. The initial phase involved a training workshop held in March, which focused on understanding the diverse values associated with heritage sites.

Through charters, agreements, and mapping exercises, the workshop explored heritage, societal, economic, social, and religious values.

In the second phase, a group of distinguished experts conducted training for ten carefully selected global heritage sites and their relevant stakeholders.

The training aimed to assess the vulnerability of heritage values, evaluate the effectiveness of previous training initiatives, and facilitate knowledge exchange among participants.

Promoting sustainable heritage management
The Petra National Trust (PNT) is dedicated to promoting best practices in the preservation of cultural and natural heritage in Jordan and beyond. For more than three decades, the PNT has been committed to encouraging and implementing sustainable management approaches for cultural heritage sites.

Their work aims to raise awareness among future generations about the importance of heritage and culture, contributing to the advancement of society.

The PNT's efforts are built upon five main pillars: gaining support for cultural heritage, conserving and managing heritage sites, implementing educational and awareness programs, promoting socio-economic development and community empowerment, and addressing the intersection of climate and heritage.

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