INTERPRETACIÓN GEOGRÁFICA DEL PAISAJE CULTURAL CAFETERO DE COLOMBIA, PCCC, SUJETO AL RIESGO DE AMENAZA DEL VOLCÁN CERRO MACHÍN

Translated title of the thesis: GEOGRAPHICAL INTERPRETATION OF THE COFFEE CULTURAL LANDSCAPE OF COLOMBIA (CCLC) UNDER THE RISK OF THE CERRO MACHIN VOLCANO THREAT

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

The methodological proposal of the Thesis consists of the development of an 'epistemological construction of landscape-territory', that is, the assembly of a set of elements of interest to the research, which involve the cultural landscape, around which an interpretative reflection is formed. For this, we start from a conceptual framework, in which the landscape is defined as a space-time product and as a social product, since it is the result of collective work in which the cultural-historical manifestation in the natural landscape configures the cultural landscape. This is the result of the transformation of nature by man. On this basis, an interpretative approach is proposed for the understanding of the cultural landscape as a geographical space / landscape-territory.

Therefore, the definition of the research problem is directly related to: a) the geographical approach: the geographical connotation of landscape, which must recognize the interdisciplinary dimension and the renaissance of 'territorial' sciences, as well as their relationship with cultural geography, the development of the landscape-territory concept and its fundamental relationship with recent scientific developments such as landscape archaeology and archaeogeography. (b) the cultural approach: the conceptualization of the cultural landscape in relation to the establishment of the 'Unesco concept', the criteria for inscription on the World Heritage List and the implications with the processes of collective appropriation of the heritage And c) the social approach to the management of the threat and risk, related to territorial planning due to the presence of the Cerro Machín Volcano contingency, insofar as there is a social ignorance of the phenomenon, and an apparent ban on the subject due to inadequate dissemination and government/society agreement on the risk of threat.

Given the incontrovertible nature of a scientific hypothesis on the effects and implications of the volcanic event on the cultural landscape, a series of 'research questions' are defined which aim to resolve specific responses to the need for policies relevant to the management of the heritage site in terms of: strategies for planning municipal-departmental land use, appropriation of heritage, risk management, climate variability due to the effects of global climate change and the processes of reconstruction of the landscape by the State and its inhabitants.

The thesis allows the reality of the cultural landscape of coffee to be presented and its recognition as a new research problem, and justifies the elaboration of a methodology in terms of complementarity and integrality, which is competent to the discussion of nature and culture, explained through an integral geographic vision of the cultural landscape, supported by the innovations coming from disciplines such as landscape archaeology and archaeogeography.

This implies knowledge of the current state of the CCLC and of the specific volcanic risk that looms over this territory. To this end, it is deduced that in order to understand the nature of the Cerro Machín Volcano, it is necessary to know the representative cases in which the heritage or symbolic space-territory is related to a threat of similar stratovolcano risk. These include those documented from the eruption of Mount Saint Helens in 1980, the Nevado del Ruiz volcano in 1985 that affected some areas of the CCLC, and the Pinatubo volcano in the Philippines in 1991, among others.

This knowledge is applied to the CCLC and Cerro Machín Volcano study area, its implications within an 'ecoregion', the locational dimensions and description of the geographical structure of the Coffee Culture Landscape, as well as its relationship with the threat of Cerro Machín Volcano.

Subsequently, in order to visualize the constituent elements of the cultural landscape from the perspective outlined, an inventory of the Landscape-Territory is elaborated, identifying the layers that make up theCCLC, according to the matrices - physical, social, cultural -, among others that compose it. Based on this, an interpretation of the cultural landscape-territory affected by the threat of CMV is proposed, from a formal approach, based on the digital model of elevation of the area of study and the superposition of the developed matrices.

The conclusions are based on the rethinking of the CCLC's management policies and the generation of strategies in accordance with the volcanic threat, to the extent that adjustments are made to the management of territorial and spatial planning, given that inconsistencies are identified between the competencies of the areas responsible (planning, agriculture and environment); and the appropriation of heritage, given that there is a lack of knowledge about the heritage value of the cultural landscape, which contrasts with the denial of the problem by government authorities; in the framework of risk management which, despite the progress made and the learning from painful experiences, has not yet completed the construction of broad and integral risk education at all levels (local, regional and national); and climate variability and environmental sustainability, whose effects could convert the eruptive event of the Cerro Machín Volcano into a planetary event.

With these results, the challenges facing the process of reconstruction of the CCLC are proposed, that is to say, the identification of the bases for a management policy for the reconstruction of the cultural landscape, based on the fundamental relevance of the symbolic-cultural value of the geography of the Cultural Landscape of Colombia.
Date of Award22 Jan 2016
Original languageSpanish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Alicante
SupervisorJOSÉ ANTONIO SEGRELLES SERRANO (Supervisor)

Keywords

  • Cultural Landscape
  • Volcanic Threat
  • Risk Management
  • Cultural Geography
  • Vulcanology
  • Cultural Policy
  • Landscape Archaeology

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