Coffee Cultural Landscape of Tolima, Colombia: Heritage Assessment, Sustainability and Management

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The purpose of this paper is to determine the basis for a management agenda for the Tolima Coffee Cultural Landscape (CCLT) in Colombia. To this end, a delimitation model has been developed. However, the approach of the CCLT, as a comprehensive academic and policy-based theme, is discussed on the basis of the formulation of a social agenda needed to support its construction. A theoretical framework is proposed in order to address the sociocultural complexities of this cultural landscape based on an ethnohistorical approach that explains how this cultural landscape is a collective construction of pre-Hispanic origin. Therefore, this discussion is perceived and addressed through an understanding of the historical and cultural phenomenon of the cultural landscape. More specifically, we have demonstrated the close links that exist between nature and culture, requiring more accurate methods in order to adapt the definition to the specific Latin American context, rather than adhering to the institutional framework proposed by UNESCO. The assessment methods currently in use support the interpretation of a set of qualitative and quantitative attributes inherent to the Tolima region. However, additional methods still remain similar to those of the Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia (CCLC) that has already been inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List. The CCLC is considered to be a representative landscape—or “type” landscape—that “mirrors” the CCLT. Taken as a whole, the theoretical construction combined with an official designation allows local communities to understand the spatial phenomena of the CCLT. This will have the effect of enabling communities at all levels, from local government to landholders and farmers, to authorize its existence, and allow for its development and governance. The additional approval for academic research, combined with the totality of these elements, also has the added effect of empowering communities, their economic future, and their cultural interests. The management agenda that we are proposing may form the beginnings of regional policy initiatives, <<delete this comma] that reflect a positive strategy for highlighting the value of cultural heritage, thereby ensuring the protection of cultural properties and landscapes, and allowing for a more sustainable environment and livelihood for its occupants.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development
Issue number3
StateE-pub ahead of print - 7 Sep 2021


  • Cultural Landscape
  • Heritage Appropiation
  • culture-nature linkages
  • coffee
  • Tolima
  • Heritage Management
  • heritage


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