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Publication Detail
Social action for landscape character conservation: The role of community initiatives and practices in the conservation of Colombian cultural landscapes
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Hincapie Trivino M
  • Date awarded:
  • Awarding institution:
    UCL (University College London)
  • Language:
The participation of local communities is a fundamental aspect in the conservation of cultural landscapes, mainly because it contributes to sustainable and inclusive management of natural and human-made valuable resources. However, in practice, conservation planning frameworks largely favour activities aligned to cultural and institutional elites while overlooking relevant community activities of the process. This research evaluates the influence of community social action on landscape character conservation and shows its potential to overcome current integration deficiencies. It aims to understand how and to what extent community initiatives – CIs – and community practices – CPs – contribute to the management of landscape change, how they exemplify community participation and social action, and what factors enabling their implementation. The methodology adopted is a multiple-case study approach of two world heritage Colombian landscapes, offering a rich ground in geographic, ecologic, and spatial characteristics unique in landscape studies. The cases are Zone A of the Coffee Cultural Landscape in the Andean mountains and the historic town of Santa Cruz de Mompox in Caribbean floodplain lakes. This research finds that social action, as CIs and CPs, benefits landscape character conservation because it involves a direct engagement of communities in activities, integrating place attachment, solidarity, sovereignty, and mutual help for implementation. Local communities demonstrated agency in purposeful actions and employed negotiation skills to work in partnership with external agents. Social values for conserving the common good were at the core of activities, and, occasionally, economic stimuli and other incentives influenced their execution. By demonstrating how social action operates and the mechanisms employed in associations, action boards, and cooperation networks, this research provides novel information to help to articulate activities at the local level with current planning conservation frameworks.
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