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The heritage value of terroir-based economies as model of human development

La valeur patrimoniale des économies de terroir comme modèle de développement humain

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Published on Monday, December 08, 2014


Promoting territories and terroirs by focusing on their agricultural heritage and/or their traditional agricultural products with high added value represents a constructive response to the threat of standardization and loss of identity. This process also provides a building block for a sustainable development respectful of cultural diversity and of their characteristics. It is for this reason that, nowadays, heritage preservation is fully taken into account in the cultural dimension of development.


Organized by the Association for World Heritage inscription of the Climats of Burgundy (France)


Promoting territories and terroirs by focusing on their agricultural heritage and/or their traditional agricultural products with high added value represents a constructive response to the threat of standardization and loss of identity. This process also provides a building block for a sustainable development respectful of cultural diversity and of their characteristics. It is for this reason that, nowadays, heritage preservation is fully taken into account in the cultural dimension of development.

Consequently, understanding and measuring the outcomes of heritage preservation on the development of territories and regions has become a major concern for local stakeholders, political decision-makers and professionals.

However, it is primarily the profits generated by tourist traffic in internationally reputednatural and cultural sites, such as World Heritage sites, which are taken into account when measuring heritage’s contribution to economic development. This approach does not fullycapture the actual diversity of the territories’ heritage dimension, nor the value for development of the heritization process aiming at international labelling. Moreover, it does not entirely meet the needs of the political decision-makers wishing to makean informed choice among the multiple legislative measures to protect and promote agricultural products with high added value, in which lies the uniqueness of each terroir.

For this reason, when assessing how heritage preservation contributes to development, new considerations drawn from analyses carried out by economists are tending to integrate qualitative non-monetary data into valuation indicators. This research line deserves further exploration, especially for landscapes and agricultural sites which already enjoy recognized heritage value or which are in the process of obtaining an international recognition.

Indeed, in the past twenty years, the notion of heritage has expanded to include traditional know-how and ancestoral farming practices ( wine growing, tea, coffee, saffron, pepper, oil, vanilla,…), as well as the landscapes created as a result of human activity (paddy fields, vineyards, …). Therefore, new heritage objects include an economic function which plays a critical role in determining their heritage value.

Terroir-based agricultural economies are rich and diverse. They convey the concept of integrated diversity between a territory, men and women and know-how. They sometimes have historical links which pinpoint common issues transcending their differences.

Of all these local economies, the French region of Burgundy contains the world’s greatest diversity of viticultural terroirs. For several years, Burgundy has been leading the nomination of the Climats of Burgundy to the World Heritage List, to ensure that the historical value of the agricultural model based on the concept of terroir is officially recognized on an international level.

The heritization process set in motion with a view to protecting and promoting this millenia-old model, represents a lever for regional development in several different ways. In this way, the social, human and cultural value of measures taken to safeguard the terroirs in the course of the heritization process should be added to the economic value generated by agricultural production.

Therefore, the model of the Climats of Burgundy, coupled with experience in leading an heritization and nomination process can serve to inform and promote a development policy focused on heritage conservation of terroir-based economies.

The international gathering intends to initiate discussion on this topic.


Wednesday 18th February 2015

8:00 am Participants registration

9:00 am Opening session of the Conference


Presentation of the International Conference objectives

9:15 am Introductory Lectures Heritage and Economy :

  • Erik Orsenna (Académie Française, France)
  • Françoise Benhamou (University of Paris 13)

10:15 am– 01:00 pm: Session 1 – Terroir-based economies: environment, know-how, culture and production

Through the presention of a wide range of agricultural products (wine, tea, coffee, rice, agave,…), this session will describe the various types of terroir-based economies through the ways in which they have shaped the landscape and contributed to its conservation, as well as the creation and maintenance of ancestoral expertise, such as vinification. The session will also explore the cultural aspects, anthropological and philosophical, of the relationship between the landscape and the agricultural product, in order to highlight the mosaic of different factors involved in the sustainable dimension of terroir-based economies.

  • The Climats of Burgundy : a cultural site (France)
    Professor Jean-Pierre Garcia, University of Burgundy
  • The cultural landscape of the province of Bali : the Subak water management system and the philosophy of Tri Hita Karana (Indonesia)
    Professor Dr. J Stephen Lansing, University of Arizona, USA and Stockholm Resilience Center

Explanation of the links between culture, philosophy and agriculture;
Dealing with the threat to the integrated system of water management, establishing a collaborative governance between government departments and community members

  • An inter-disciplinary approach to the Indian landscapes : history and evolution (India)
    To be determined

Use of land and natural ressources in Nepal ;
Implications on agriculture and rural communities as a result of protection measures to safeguard natural areas, and more especially, the resulting reorganization of territories.

  • The Kafa Biosphere Reserve (Ethiopia)
    Nune Sisay, National Biosphere Reserve Advisor, Ethiopia

Land-use patterns and cultural identity
Ecosystems and sustainable development

03:00 – 06:00 pm: Session 2 –The heritization process: lever for local development 

This session will document the different phases of local mobilization during heritage nomination processes (Tentative List, World Heritage List, European reglementation and labels …) of agricultural sites and cultural landscapes: i.e. local capacity to mobilize funds, the strengthening of social links, the implementation of heritage protection legislation and norms. Doing so, it will address the process of identifying the heritage dimension of an agricultural site and its agricultural production as a lever for sustainable development of a region and its terroirs. 

  • From traditional production to world market : Jasmine and Tea Culture System of Fuzhou (China)
    Professor Min Qing Wen, Center for Natural and Cultural Heritage Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources, Beijing, PR China

From traditional production to the international market
Obtaining certification of products of geographical Indication : sharing experience

  • The world heritage nomination process of the Piedmont vineyard landscape: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato (Italy)
    Marco Valle, Superior Institute for innovation of territorial systems
  • Strategy for local mobilization : actions for the nomination of the Climats of Burgundy (France)
    Krystel Lepresle, Director, Association for the Climats vineyards of Burgundy
  • International solidarity supporting territorial mobilization : the example of the cultural Landscape of the Perfume Plantations on the Islands of the Moon (Comores)
    Dr Aboubakari Boina, Centre national de documentation et de recherche scientifique, Comores

International solidarity supporting territorial mobilization

Thursday 19th February 2015

08 :30 am : Introductory Lectures : Heritage and socio-economic benefits :

  • Elizabeth Chilton (UMass, Ahmerst)
  • David Throsby (Macquarie University, Sydney)

09 :30 am – 12 :30 pm : Session 3 – The social and economic benefits resulting from heritage conservation of agricultural sites and cultural landscapes

This session will take stock of the variety of benefits (social values, biodiversity, ecology, gender equality, communities’ rights, employment…) generated by terroir-based economies and conservation of their heritage. It will also highlight the various scales of public actions (local production corporate, regional or national administrative levels, worldwide distribution) which situate terroir-based economies in the global economy.    

  • The Strategic Social Capital built around the coffee institutional network (Colombia)
    Luis Fernando Samper, Intellectual Property Director, Colombian Coffee Growers Federation, Colombia

Traditional landownership and distinctive small farm production system: the social and economic value of legacies of the past
Environment conservation mechanisms

  • Methodological considerations in the Climats of Burgundy nomination
    Yves Luginbuhl, Research Director, CNRS, France
  • The Arganeraie Biosphere reserve (Morocco)
    Brahim El Fasskaoui, Enseignant chercheur, Université de Moulay Ismaïl, Meknès, Morocco

Thèmes :
Research on the Argan tree (Arganiaspinosa); its uses and physical and socio-economic environment

  • Pearl production : an example of an island economy (Bahrein)
    To be confirmed

02 :30 pm – 05 :00 pm : Session 4 – The measures and mechanisms for protecting terroir-based economies

This session will present the different legal systems designed to promote the excellence of terroir-based products and to ensure their sustainability. Speakers will discuss respective merits and converging interests of economic legislation (Europe AOP, IGP, STG) and heritage nominations (World Heritage List, GIAHS). Operative concepts such as that of the « common good » and «collective interest » will also be addressed. Although focused mainly on benefits resulting from legal norms application, the session will also consider the commitments made by the territories to ensure heritage conservation through management plans.

  • Classification of terroir products in the knowledge-driven economy
    Professor Marion Fourcade, Berkeley University, USA
  • Rights conferred by the AOC and STG (guaranteed traditional speciality) systems and World Heritage inscription : compared protection
    Marie-Delphine Vivien, CIRAD, France
  • Certification of terroir wine regions
    Professeur Norbert Olszak, University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France
  • Pu’er Traditional Tea Agrosystem, Yunnan Province (China)
    To be confirmed

The use of traditional managerial philosophies in order to maintain biological and cultural diversity of the region and the economic value of ancient tea plantation
Heritage recognition system and copyright protection

  • The Saffron Heritage of Kashmir (India)
    To be confirmed

From tradition to livelihood security: the search for sustainability

Session 5 /Summary and conclusions: The heritage value of terroir-based economies

05 :00 pm – 06 :00 pm : Session 5            

Round Table: the heritage value of terroir-based economies

  • Erik Orsenna & Lionel Zinsou & Jean-Robert Pitte & David Throsby & Elizabeth Chilton & Françoise Benhamou

While summarizing the previous four sessions’ content, this last session will highlight the processes and policies used to enhance the heritage value of terroir-based economies. This final session will also touch on the risks arising from a heritage recognition (such as high tourist traffic and overcrowded sites). It will examine the extent to which heritage conservation is taken into account by political decision-makers when planning development strategies, and if such conservation strategies meet the expectations of local communities.

Building up on the experience of the nomination process of The Climats of Burgundy, a suggestion has been put forward for an international cooperation agenda whose aim is to encourage similar projects of heritage protection of terroir-based economies, especially in under-represented regions on the World Heritage List.


  • Collège des Bernardins 20, rue de Poiss
    Paris, France (75005)


  • Wednesday, February 18, 2015
  • Thursday, February 19, 2015

Attached files


  • terroir, économie, patrimoine, développement, histoire, climats, Bourgogne, terroir, economy, heritage, developpment, histoiry, climats, Bourgogne, Burgundy


  • Krystel LEPRESLE
    courriel : contact [at] climats-bourgogne [dot] com

Reference Urls

Information source

  • charlotte l'hermitte
    courriel : info [at] climats-bourgogne [dot] com


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« The heritage value of terroir-based economies as model of human development », Conference, symposium, Calenda, Published on Monday, December 08, 2014, https://doi.org/10.58079/rfu

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