Petra is the most famous archaeological site in Jordan. Its worldwide reputation is due to the funeral monuments carved into coloured sandstone cliffs by an ancient caravan people, the Nabataean.
Petra site was occupied since the prehistoric time and became during the Antiquity an important crossroad between the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt and the Mediterranean world. Nabateans elevated the place to the rank of capital around 200 BC and developed a unique funeral architecture mixing styles of diverse origins.
An ingenious hydraulic system extended to the mountains and gorges surrounding the site allowed a wide urban development during the Nabatean. Roman and Byzantine times. Due to its rich historical remains as well as to its surprising geology.
Petra is a unique and valuable treasure that thousands of visitors come to admire every year. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985 and one of the Seven Wonders in 2007.
Protecting this huge site from the impact of mass tourism doesn’t go without challenges. With time going experts noticed impacts induced by the continuous and increasing presence of the tourists in the archaeological park. The erosion of the fragile sandstone is accelerated under the steps of the visitors and loaded animals. The working animals are subject to overworking and the local communities incur the pernicious effects of commercial activities involving their children.
It became clear that efforts must be conceded for preserving not only Petra treasuries but also the balance of the communities living from it and the welfare of the animals conveying the tourists on the site. Care for Petra is a large scale responsible tourism initiative, which results from the collaboration between governmental and non-governmental organizations and the tourism industry.
The campaign has been officially launched under the patronage of His Excellency the Prime Minister of Jordan in October 2014. Recognizing that the visitor is a key partner, Care For Petra involves him in a more sustainable development of the site. This vision marks a turning point in the protection of Petra site as well as for the populations intimately linked to the site.