During the past decades local traditions have been under threat because of the view that hegemonic culture has on cultural diversity as an obstacle to development and civilization. This has implied a long process of deculturization in many regions, especially among indigenous, afrodescendent and rural communities. Nevertheless, the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (UNESCO 2003/ Law 1036, 2006), have made the rescuing of intangible cultural expressions a priority in Colombia.
Some human groups have been closer to the exercise of cultural rights, like indigenous and afrodescendent communities, but campesino communities, that do not have a specific ethnic determination, are generally strange to those initiatives. In Colombia, campesino cultures have concentrated their effort in land rights, organizational and representation processes and the definition of programmes for economic support. The incorporation of cultural rights promotes an integral understanding of their reality, an approach to their particular relationship to the territory, social and resistance organizations, historical perspectives and knowledge related to their context and productive systems.
The Nukak ethnic group entered in contact with global society only decades ago and is considered to be in high cultural risk because its territory has been considerably reduced by the presence of illegal armed groups and the advance of the agricultural frontier.
The Colombian regions of the Amazon, Orinoco and the Pacific Coast have a very rich bio- and cultural diversity. Ethnic communities in these regions have a clear need for targeted capacity building that meets their demands and matches the context they are living in.