A successful sustainable Tourism Project under Cittaslow Tourism pattern
PIJAO CITTASLOW, COLOMBIA
Strengthening Sustainable Tourism in Colombia – Part 2
Natalia Naranjo, CESO Country Representative (Colombia) February 22, 2017
In October 2016, the Pijao Cittáslow Foundation in Colombia and CESO signed a partnership agreement to support water and waste management, agriculture/organic training for low income families and awareness for sustainability as a framework for local sustainable development.
The partnership was signed by Mónica Flórez, representative of the Foundation, LVA David Smith and and CESO Country Representative, Natalia Naranjo. It follows two assignments that took place earlier in 2016, with VAs Bob Tuss and David Smith, who supported sustainable tourism development and the strengthening of organically produced coffee and its role in the tourism value chain.
Pijao is the first Latin American town to embrace the “Cittaslow” movement, an initiative that started in Italy as a counter-position to the fast lifestyle, including fast food reliance, prevalent today. The main objectives of the Foundation are to promote local sustainable development and to protect cultural and architectural heritage and the landscape. The main economic activities in town are coffee production and tourism, so there is a network of alliances working hand-in-hand with the Foundation supporting the initiative.
Working together the Foundation and the local municipality can provide better services to the population and improve quality of life promoting sustainability and governance.
As a CESO Country Representative, I’m very optimistic about the work ahead. It will be a great challenge for all of us, especially in coordinating efforts involving different stakeholders – NGO’s and/or foundations, and the public and private sector. If this partnership goes well, it’s going to have a great impact on the advancement of local sustainable development, including improving community infrastructure (the water system and solid waste management), conditions for women and youth, management of the environment and community engagement in governance and decision-making.