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UNESCO , Italy partner to support sustainable tourism in Petra and Wadi Rum

Jordan Daily – Italian Government and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Wednesday signed a 1.5 million Euro partnership agreement for a new initiative in Petra and Wadi Rum.

The agreement aims to safeguard cultural heritage and support local communities in engaging “more effectively” in the protection of the World Heritage sites, through sustainable practices and alternative livelihood opportunities, according to a joint statement.

This additional contribution to a long-standing partnership between Government of Italy and UNESCO in Jordan was cemented in the signing ceremony held Wednesday at the UNESCO Jordan Office premises, in presence of Italian Ambassador to Jordan, Luciano Pezzotti, UNESCO Representative in Jordan, Min Jeong Kim, and representatives from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS).

Speaking at the signing ceremony, UNESCO Representative, Min Jeong Kim, thanked Government of Italy for its “generous” support, adding that : “UNESCO will work closely with the Government of Jordan, as well as the local authorities and communities, to focus on activities that could help alleviate some of the pressures on the sites due to the exponential increase in the number of tourists in recent years.”

“The ultimate goal of the project is to support the sustainable preservation and development of the World Heritage sites for future generations.”

The two-year initiative entitled “Local Communities and Sustainable Tourism in Petra and Wadi Rum” will contribute to the sustainable protection of the two World Heritage sites, while focusing on empowering local communities to play an active role in the preservation of these invaluable places and creating livelihoods opportunities, especially for the women and youth.

The project will be implemented, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Department of Antiquities, Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA) and the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), the statement said.

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