LT&C-Webinar Series: How to design post-COVID tourism and conservation strategies for LT&C Champions

November 25, 2020 @ 17:00 – 18:30
Peter Prokosch

The first session of our webinar series will focus on:

“Community-led and owned tourism – driving socio-economic outcomes that increase biodiversity”


Justification  for the webinar series

 Nature-based tourism (see the World Bank’s “Tools and Resources”) or eco-tourism is a “contract” started in 1985, whereas tourists make parks worth their maintenance and those communities servicing the tourists keep poachers and loggers at bay; this kind of tourism pays for well-managed parks and funds rangers, and protection and veterinary programs; it is a source of revenue for rural communities that, due to this revenue, can stay off more damaging uses of the ecosystem. According to WTTC, wildlife tourism generated US $120 billion/year, 3 million jobs, particularly in natural destinations such as in Africa (1/3 of tourism), Latin America (1/10) and Asia-Pacific (1/17). The COVID shock has essentially crashed this market to the ground for the last half year. WHAT NOW for those champions?

Travel will continue, but mainstream tourism depended on (questionable) subsidies and incentives (low-cost airlines, 2,500 room hotels with 2-3 day stays, multilateral loans) may not survive in the post-COVID environment. Sustainable tourism (defined by its support to the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs) will need now to come into the forefront and to adjust to new times. Post-COVID trends: domestic tourism increases; more extended stays for international visitors; smaller-scale “niche” products and services. Past trends will need to intensity: innovative co-management options such as concessions, licenses, public-private partnerships, and citizen science done by tour guides, park rangers, accommodation managers and tourists, as already done in Canada and South Africa, among other destinations.

Opportunities for international cooperation on this topic will come up at the 15th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, Yunnan Province, May 2021, and associated parallel events. This webinar series will coordinate the lessons learned and the role of small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs such as those in the Linking Tourism & Conservation Network. The basic question is “How can we keep those doing best for nature from closing”? Outcomes of this consultation would then be taken to the Business Forum parallel to the 15th Conference of the Parties of the CBD in Kunming in 2021.


 Counting on the experience and recent lessons learned, this webinar series will engage leading LT&C members running such businesses with the aim to:

  • Identify best practices in overcoming COVID challenges for LT&C champions themselves
  • Identify options for systemic improvements and restorative interventions from outside partners that can leverage LT&C champions’ capacities
  • Position LT&C as a source of best practices for nature/tourism

 Focus of the 1st session

The first webinar will focus on LT&C-Examples led and owned by local communities, indigenous peoples or micro, small and medium enterprises.


The first hour, after short introductions, we will listen to 5 speakers informing us about the status of their LT&C-Example and their strategy to cope with the challenges of COVID19. They each will have max. 8 minutes to present, allowing for a 2 minutes Q&A slot. This will be followed by a presentation of UNWTO. And a longer discussion round with a panel consisting of all the speakers, including two UN representatives (CBD and UNWTO), is foreseen for the last half hour.

Time Speaker, title of presentation
17:00-17:05 Oliver Hillel, Secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (Montreal, Canada) 

Introduction to the webinar series

17:05-17:10 Peter Prokosch, Founder and CEO, Linking Tourism & Conservation (LT&C) (Arendal, Norway) 

Introduction to LT&C

17:10-17:20 Gabriel Minas, Director Marketing & Alliances Napo Wildife Center (Yasuni National Park, Ecuador) 

Protecting the Añangu Dream

17:20-17:30 Dallas Smith, President and Chairman of the Board with the Nanwakolas Council Society, the Nanwakolas Business Council and Knight Inlet Lodge, the grizzly bear viewing operation (Canada) 

Community-based tourism in the Great Bear Rainforest

17:30-17:40 Sophia Wood,“Friends of Wallacea” and “Operation Wallacea” (Staunton, USA) 

The concept of Wallacea Operations and Friends of Wallacea

17:40-17:50 Carla James, Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (Guyana) (tbc.)

Safe Guyana’s Wildlife

17:50-18:00 Greg Bakunzi, Amahoro Tours and Red Rocks (Rwanda)

New strategies to link international- with local- and regional tourism activities to the benefit of national parks local communities

18:00-18:10 Zoritsa Urosevic, Special Representative to the UN in Geneva, Director Institutional Relations and Partnerships (Geneva, Switzerland)

UNWTO Perspectives on Community-based Tourism

18:10-18:30 Discussions and resuming

If interested to participate and get access to the Zoom meeting

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