LESSONS FROM THE PIONEERS
Central and Latin American operators have been ecotourism leaders for many decades, for reasons including the region’s unique diversity of life, culture, and land- and seascapes (also portrayed in media), as well as its proximity to the North American and EU outbound markets. Certification systems for sustainable tourism, support to community-based operations, competent guiding, networks, and associations of nature-based operators, and ingenious combinations of research and tourism have made many destinations in this region global references, also for the sector’s capacity to contribute to financing protected areas and private reserves. The region has witnessed significant investment and expertise in this sector, from governments to agencies and development organizations. As UN member countries prepare to negotiate a ten-year strategic framework for biodiversity in the face of unprecedented threats to this development asset, as it becomes clear that the ambitious goals of this global framework can only be met by mainstreaming nature into all economic sectors, and as the fundamental wish to travel and learn reaffirms itself as a market force, LT&C teams up with its Central and Mesoamerican partners to shed some light on the risks and opportunities for this sector and region, also as input to other destinations.
So how are these champions faring in the post-COVID 19 circumstances, with associated limitations and restrictions? What works, and what does not? Which strategies have allowed them to adjust and evolve, and which needs and expectations do LT&C champions in the region have from public and private organizations which can help? How does the region compare with previous ones examined by LT&C, such as Africa or Europe? These questions will be examined and addressed by a team of operators, policymakers, and experts, on June 3, 2021, at 5 pm CEST, in the next LT&C webinar. Have a look at the previous webinars of this series on Africa and the Arctic.
Oliver Hillel from the CBD-Secretariat in Montreal, Canada, will be the Moderator of the webinar.
Among others to come, our member Allianza Mesoamericana de Ecoturismo came up with the following speakers, providing us with an 8-minute presentation each:
Mark Willuhn, Executive Director of AME: “Expanding the positive impacts of tourism…Post-COVID vision”
Marlon Calderon, General Manager of Viva Atitlan, Guatemala: “Conservation and Birdwatching at Lake Atitlán” (Recording in Spanish with subtitles in English)
Ernesto Ocampo, Coordinator Agualí Biological Station, Nicaragua.:”Creating opportunities for a new generation of leaders in tourism and conservation”
Arjen Roersma, Founder of Matagalpa Tours and president of AME: “The role of local tourism operators in conservation and a sustainable destination”
Matthias Beyer, Founder and Head of mascontour: “Brilliance through Resilience – The pathway to a “better normal” after COVID-19 for Latin American tourism destination.
Dr Kathy Slater, Research Manager and Mexico Senior Scientist, Operation Wallacea: “Ecotourism in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, Mexico and the need for a holistic approach to sustainable livelihoods”.
Andres Alvarado, Owner of the local tour operator Forest Alive, Monteverde, Costa Rica: “Monteverde: A laboratory for conservation and tourism”
Interested to participate?