Project Portfolio

Building capacity for cultural heritage sustainability

Coherit's projects use transdiciplinary, participatory tools to address the challenges and opportunities of cultural heritage management and sustainable heritage tourism development in the 21st century.

Current Field Projects
Capacity-building Workshops
Participation in Policy Initiatives

Enhancing the Socio-Economic Potential of Cultural Heritage in the Caribbean


To develop sustainable frameworks for the protection and development of cultural heritage resources by governmental institutions, the private sector, and civil society.

14 OAS member states

Antigua and Barbuda Bahamas Barbados Belize Dominica Grenada Guyana Haiti Jamaica St. Kitts & Nevis St. Lucia St. Vincent & the Grenadines Suriname Trinidad & Tobago

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Client: Organization of American States

Tourism and Culture Section of the Department of Social and Economic Development

Phase I.A. Regional Needs Assessment (2012-2013)

After conducting a detailed survey of the challenges and existing heritage skills and resources in the Caribbean, we helped regional stakeholders identify and prioritize the actions needed to build local capacity to address current economic, environmental, social, and cultural needs.

Phase I.B. Formulation of Model Project Plans for Phase II (2013-2014)

Working closely with the OAS Tourism and Culture Section and with panels of regional stakeholders from public, private, and NGO sectors, we formulated workplans for model projects for capacity sharing, review of legislation and fiscal incentives, toolkits for inventory and monitoring, values-based tourism frameworks, and online professional training.

Phase II. Pilot Project Implementation (2015-2017)

We are now at work with regional heritage agencies, NGOs, individual heritage sites in the participating nations to implement the model projects and disseminate their results throughout the region.

The Establishment of a Caribbean Heritage Network (Output 1)

A Regional Standard for Protective Heritage Legislation and Fiscal Incentives (Output 2)

Heritage Inventories and National Registers (Output 3)

A Sustainable Heritage Endorsement Programme (Output 4)

A Regional Directory and Curricular Enhancement of Heritage Education (Output 5)

Values-based Heritage Approaches for Sustainable Development


To familiarize participants with new tools for community heritage engagement, providing a basis for community development, community-based tourism, and the sustainable management of heritage resources.

Recently hosted at the University of Campinas, Brazil, October 2014


Download the report.

Recent Academic Partners

  • LAP

  • The Public Archaeology Lab, University of Campinas, Brazil

  • The Center for Environmental Studies and Research, University of Campinas, Brazil

About the Workshop

What relevance does cultural heritage have for the rapidly changing world of the 21st century? What contribution can archaeology and public history make to the growing, interdisciplinary fields of sustainable development and sustainable tourism?

This workshop, designed for academic institutions, heritage organizations, and community non-profits, presents essential skills to deepen community engagement in heritage interpretation, local and regional planning, sustainable development projects, tourism initiatives, as well as management and inventory methodologies for museums and government agencies.

Learning Objectives

Participants work together on a practical research problem that is commonly found in the field: how to present to visitors places of local significance in a way that expresses the values and perspectives of the local and associated communities.

Workshop participants learn how to identify and assess the core values, memories, and significance that local and associated communities ascribe to particular places. They also learn how to interpret and communicate this information to offer a positive, insider's view of local heritage that will strengthen community resilience, identity, and development.

NARA+20: On Heritage Practices, Cultural Values, and the Concept of Authenticity


To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the landmark Nara Document on Authenticity (1994) by reflecting on the policy challenges and opportunities that have emerged in the last two decades--and to issue recommendations on priority areas for further work.


Initiative Sponsor

The Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan

About the Initiative

Coherit managing partners Gustavo Araoz, Angela Labrador and Neil Silberman participated in this two-year initiative, assisting in the discussions and drafting of the Nara+20 text.

Nara + 20 emphasizes that the protection and promotion of cultural heritage is an evolving social process, shared by many stakeholders, that can provide a valuable, positive factor in community identity and development.

The document was adopted at the Second Nara Conference (24-26 October 2014) in Nara, Japan.

Nara+20 highlights the following five core challenges for 21st century heritage practice:

  1. Recognizing the worldwide diversity of heritage processes
  2. Understanding the implications of the evolution of cultural values
  3. Fostering the involvement of multiple stakeholders
  4. Accepting and addressing conflicting claims and interpretations
  5. Exploring the role of cultural heritage in sustainable development