Petra National Trust (PNT) has organized and hosted the Preserving our Legacy Project Launching Ceremony at the Cultural Hub Bayt Yaish on Sunday. A PNT statement said that “the Petra National Trust is a key part of Preserving Legacies, an initiative funded by Manulife and partnered with the National Geographic Society, ICOMOS, the Climate Heritage Network, and local partners such as local community-based organizations, local individuals, representatives from the public sector on a project to explore climate impacts and responses in ten key heritage sites”. The Petra National Trust has been working to protect and sustain the World Heritage Site of Petra and other heritage sites in Jordan for the past 33 years. PNT’s work focuses on advocacy, preservation, education and outreach, community empowerment, and heritage-based socio-economic development. PNT is currently building a multi-disciplinary national and regional program on climate change and cultural heritage, according to the statement. “Preserving Legacies: A Future for our Past aims to empower every community to safeguard their cultural and natural heritage against climate change impacts by equipping local leaders with the scientific knowledge and technical training to develop place and people-based climate change adaptation plans.” the statement explained. The pilot project will model a scalable program that allows heritage sites to visualize future climate impacts and create a plan to manage those changes sustainably. By combining cutting-edge science, immersive storytelling, and community capacity building, this project will inspire the public to care for sites at risk and empower local leaders to manage adaptively their places of cultural significance. In 2023, two heritage sites, the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras and Petra, Jordan are serving as pilot sites, and eight heritage sites are serving as observer sites to learn by shadowing the process, according to the statement. By working and sharing experiences this project can better develop and present culture-based solutions to many climate challenges and build more resilient communities. The joint efforts will document, study and utilize diverse knowledge, skills and practices, inherited and adapted methods of learning and technical know-how to build resilience and transform communities to meet climate-adaptation goals. Participatory processes are being conducted to address barriers that contribute to the lack of effective action on climate change at the community level in Petra region. In addition to interventions to achieve effective Petra’s six villages’ local engagement, planning, and decision-making on climate change by engaging, accessible processes, and understandable information. The approach is bringing important climate change information down to the local understanding and engage local stakeholders in the process and use holistic scenarios which combine multiple aspects of climate change. The ceremony was attended by Her Royal Highness Princess Dana Firas, Petra National Trust President, and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Cultural Heritage, Suliman Al Farajat, Chief Commissioner for the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority, Bilal Al-Khrissat Commissioner of Petra Archeology park and Tourism, Fadi Balawi Department of Antiquities General Manager, and Min Kim UNESCO Representative to Jordan. The ceremony was also attended by Preserving Legacies team members, Victoria Herrmann, Director of Preserving Legacies, Will Megarry, ICOMOS Focal Point on Climate Change, Andrew Potts of the Climate Heritage Network, Salma Sabour, Networking Coordinator, Khansa Bouaziz, Workshop Coordinator, Delie Ronsin-Quechin, ICOMOS Liason, Julianne Polanco, the State of California’s State Historic Preservation Officer, Michael Snyder, filmmaker, and Debora Trein, Director, Science (Human Histories) at the National Geographic Society.
Source: Jordan News Agency