Sustainable travel insights from Booking.com 2020 sustainability report

Booking.com has released its 2020 Sustainability Report, sharing market intelligence that 82% of travellers think sustainable travel is important, and 70% are more likely to choose an accommodation if it has implemented sustainable practices.

To download the full report visit https://www.bookingholdings.com/sustainability/

Call for papers: 10th International Conference on Monitoring and Management of Visitors in Recreational and Protected Areas – 16-19 August 2021

The MMV conference provides a forum for presentations and other exchanges of ideas and experiences related to the monitoring and management of visitors in recreation and protected areas. The emphasis is on policies, problems, practices and innovative solutions, and is of relevance to academics as well as professionals in the field. 

The 10th International Conference on Monitoring and Management of Visitors in Recreational and Protected Areas (MMV10) will be held August 16-19, 2021, as a full-digital conference event, hosted from Norway. The program will be a combination of plenary presentations from keynote speakers from around the globe, paper and poster sessions, virtual excursions and informal networking events.

Call for papers – Researchers and other professionals are invited to submit abstracts for oral and poster presentations related to the themes of MMV10 (resources, markets and innovations), including accepted session proposals (see list below).

An extended abstract of maximum 1000 words should be submitted to the conference organizer using the online abstract formula.

Deadline for presentation abstracts: 31 March 2021

Accepted session proposals:

  1. Managing flows and ‘over-tourism’ in (world) natural and cultural heritage sites
  2. Protected area tourism: benefits and community resilience in the age of over-tourism
  3. Covid-19: Impacts on nature-based recreation and tourism
  4. Buses and Blazes – Operational Excellence in Park Management. Visitor Use Management and Management in Time of Crisis
  5. Visitor Monitoring and Management in UNESCO Biosphere Reserves: Status Quo, Challenges and Perspectives
  6. Visitor Monitoring, Outdoor Recreation, and Education in Water-based Nature Settings
  7. Advancing the science of visitor monitoring and management related to natural sounds and night skies
  8. Mapping and documenting coastal-marine based recreation
  9. Combining social media and ubiquitous data with traditional recreation monitoring to address emerging questions in the Anthropocene
  10. Exploring the use of GPS tracking of tourism and recreation in natural parks
  11. New and emerging smart technologies for visitor monitoring – a critical review
  12. Future directions in recreation monitoring and research
  13. Managing sustainable experiences in nature-based tourism
  14. Recreation and tourism monitoring under increased pressure: practical tools and approaches for sustainable management
  15. Economics of Protected Areas (PA) Tourism
  16. Nature-based integration in multicultural societies
  17. Visitor strategy and local community development
  18. The Sharing Economy – Supply, demand and consequences
  19. Inclusive and accessible outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism?
  20. Using hybrid choice modeling to understand visitor, land manager, and general public preferences
  21. Nature as a Protagonist in Sports and Cultural Events
  22. Recreation, tourism and wildlife disturbance: a human perspective
  23. BioTour – From place-based resources to value-added experiences: Nature-based tourism in the future

Useful links:

State of the Wildlife Economy in Africa – African Leadership University report

The wildlife economy offers a key growth opportunity for Africa given the comparative advantage of the wildlife economy in the African context as local livelihoods and macro-economies are heavily tied to, and reliant on, wildlife and other natural resources.  Given the importance of the wildlife economy to future sustainable growth and development in Africa, this is a topic that African policymakers, conservationists, communities and private investors alike should all be interested in.

The aim of this report is to illustrate the current and potential value of the wildlife economy to local and national economies and, through this, to encourage more public and private investments in natural landscapes to improve conservation outcomes and support economic development.  Following on from this report will be further country case studies and reports which will focus on different aspects of the wildlife economy, including a report on guidance for policymakers, drawing on the information in this report highlighting the policy and reforms that have successfully enabled the wildlife economy in various countries.

The full report can be found here: https://bit.ly/SOWC-AWER.

Please feel free to send any feedback to Dr Sue Snyman, Director of Research, School of Wildlife Conservation, African Leadership University: sowc-research@alueducation.com

“Research on the wildlife economy and tourism is incredibly important, because it helps us to better understand the economic effects of the tourism value chain for conservation areas, local communities and for nations as a whole. By appreciating how things were before the COVID-19 pandemic, what it has been reduced to, and pragmatic strategies for recovery, we can work out how to establish more resilient and sustainable systems in the future.”

Dr Anna Spenceley, Chair, IUCN WCPA Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group; Board member Global Sustainable Tourism Council; Advisory Panel member, Travalyst 

 

COVID-19 and tourism in developing countries: Needs, challenges & options

This presentation was made at the ITB Berlin Now on 12 March 2021, as part of the BMZ panel session Tourism for Sustainable Development. It covered he following issues:

  1. How has the tourism industry been affected by COVID-19?
  2. What does it mean for the tourism sector and vulnerable groups?
  3. What are the needs and challenges to build back better tourism?
  4. How can this be achieved?

To access the presentation – click here

To access a video recording of the presentation – click here

Building sustainable finance for resilient protected and conserved areas: Lessons from COVID-19 – PARKS

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Within the March 2021 Special Edition of PARKS on “COVID-19 and Protected and Conserved Areas” is a paper on sustainable finance for resilient protected and conserved areas.

ABSTRACT

There is widespread concern that funding for protected and conserved areas (PCAs) will decline substantially due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic outcomes. This paper makes the case that the impacts of the global crisis do not in themselves introduce novel financial threats to PCAs; rather, they serve to magnify, intensify and exacerbate existing structural and systemic financial constraints and weaknesses. To respond appropriately, it is therefore important to understand the status of PCA finance before COVID-19, and to address the underlying barriers and constraints to PCA financial sustainability.

Based on known PCA finance challenges, and predicted effects from COVID-19, the authors present nine overarching recommendations for building a sustainable finance base for PCAs: diversify the funding base; improve spending effectiveness and efficiency; ensure domestic budgets continue to support PCAs; increase international development finance and philanthropy; strengthen revenue generation from tourism; support PCAs governed by Indigenous peoples, local communities and private actors; include local communities in PCA governance and benefits; engage the finance sector and attract private capital; and raise public support and interest in nature conservation and PCAs. Specific activities and tools are provided to support each of these recommendations, whilst respecting the current global context.

Key words: conservation finance, protected area finance, economic crisis, finance mechanisms, BIOFIN

Open access, and available at PARKSjournal.com, and the Special Edition page

DOI: 10.2305/IUCN.CH.2021.PARKS-27-SIRGK.en

Tourism in protected and conserved areas amid the COVID-19 Pandemic – PARKS

Within the March 2021 Special Edition of PARKS on “COVID-19 and Protected and Conserved Areas” is a paper written by several members of the IUCN WCPA Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist group on the impacts of the pandemic.

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a global impact on the tourism sector. With tourism numbers dramatically reduced, millions of jobs could be lost, and progress made in equality and sustainable economic growth could be rolled back. Widespread reports of dramatic changes to protected and conserved area visitation have negative consequences for conservation finances, tourism businesses and the livelihoods of people who supply labour, goods and services to tourists and tourism businesses. This paper aims to share experiences from around the world on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on protected area tourism; and considers how to build resilience within protected area tourism as a regenerative conservation tool.

Key words: sustainable tourism, protected area, conserved areas, parks, COVID-19 pandemic, resilience, impacts, recovery

Open access, and available at PARKSjournal.com, and the Special Edition page.

DOI: 10.2305/IUCN.CH.2021.PARKS-27-SIAS.en

Screenshot Kazinga

COVID-19 fallout undermining nature conservation efforts – IUCN publication

parks-cover

Gland, Switzerland, 11 March 2021 (IUCN) –The pandemic has significantly impacted nature conservation around the globe, including job losses among protected area rangers, reduced anti-poaching patrols and environmental protection rollbacks, according to a collection of new research papers published today by IUCN in a special issue of PARKS, the journal of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas.

While the global health crisis remains priority, this new research reveals just how severe a toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on conservation efforts and on communities dedicated to protecting nature. Let us not forget that only by investing in healthy nature can we provide a solid basis for our recovery from the pandemic, and avoid future public health crises,” said IUCN Director General Dr Bruno Oberle.

Conservation efforts in Africa and Asia were most severely affected, according to a synthesis of surveys on the impacts of the pandemic on protected area operations included in the collection. More than half of protected areas in Africa reported that they were forced to halt or reduce field patrols and anti-poaching operations as well as conservation education and outreach. A quarter of protected areas in Asia also reported that conservation activities had been reduced. In Latin and North America, Europe and Oceaniamost protected areas were able to maintain core operations despite closures and losses of tourism revenue.

The pandemic also affected the livelihoods of protected area rangers and their communities. A survey of rangers in more than 60 countries found that more than one in four rangers had seen their salary reduced or delayed, while 20% reported that they had lost their jobs due to COVID-19-related budget cuts. Rangers from Central America and the Caribbean, South America, Africa and Asia were more strongly affected than their peers in Europe, North America and Oceania. 

To shed light on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on environmental policy, the special issue of PARKS analyzed economic stimulus packages and other relevant government policies that were implemented or advanced between January and October 2020. It identified some positive examples of economic recovery packages explicitly benefiting Protected and Conserved Areas (PCAs) or scaling up environmental protections; for example, eight countries in the European Union have earmarked funding to expand or better protect PCAs, including for natural capital and the circular economy. Kenya, Japan, Pakistan and New Zealand have also included nature in their stimulus packages. While 17 countries have maintained or increased their support for PCAs, 22 countries have rolled back protections in at least 64 cases in favour of unsustainable development including road construction or oil and gas extraction in areas designated for conservation. 

Protected and conserved areas are an essential conservation strategy – they help ensure the long-term health of nature, people and livelihoods. It’s encouraging to see the conservation of nature take a priority in some COVID-19 recovery efforts,” said the lead author of the study on impacts of stimulus packages, Rachel Golden Kroner of Conservation International. “We cannot allow the current crisis to further jeopardize our natural environment. If we are to build a sustainable future, rollbacks of environmental protections must be avoided, and recovery measures need to be planned in a way that not only avoids negative impacts on biodiversity, but charts a more sustainable and equitable way forward.” The special issue of PARKS, which was published today, provides the most comprehensive synthesis to date of research into the links between and impacts of COVID-19 on nature conservation.

In addition to eleven peer-reviewed scientific papers, the issue also contains opinion articles by environmental leaders includingIUCN Director General Dr Bruno Oberle; former President of Colombia and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize,Juan Manuel Santos; former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson; biochemist and winner of the Nobel Prize for medicine, Sir Richard Roberts; Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema; and the CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez.

Investing in nature conservation and restoration to prevent the future emergence of zoonotic pathogens such as coronaviruses costs a small fraction of the trillions of dollars governments have been forced to spend to combat COVID-19 and stimulate an economic recovery. To do so will also safeguard jobs, human health, incomes and essential natural resources for billions of people. We cannot say we are building back better unless we do so whilst also protecting the natural world,”said Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, CEO and Chairperson of the GEF.

Table of contents of the Special Edition

Screenshot Contents 1

The PARKS special issue is an initiative of the COVID-19 and Protected Areas Task Force of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas. For more information, please visit the PARKS website, and the Special Edition page.

DOI: 10.2305/IUCN.CH.2021PARKS-27SI.en


Quotes from contributors

The COVID-19 pandemic has beena tragic reminder of our broken relationship with nature and the evidence we have now shows we still have a long way to go. We continue to undermine nature when science clearly shows that we need to act urgently to better protect and conserve it, both as a safety net for affected communities and as one of our strongest allies against future zoonotic outbreaks. Global leaders must act on the lessons learnt from this crisis and step up support, recovery and investments in and to protected and conserved areas, and the local communities and indigenous people that depend on and also safeguard them”, said Mariana Napolitano Ferreira, Head of Science, WWF-Brazil.

What we learnt from our 150 contributors is this: If the shock of COVID-19 is not enough to make humanity wake up to the suicidal consequences of the destructive course of much misguided development, with its onslaught on nature, then it is hard to see how further calamities—far worse than the current pandemic—can be avoided”, said Brent Mitchell, Chair of the IUCN-WCPA Specialist Group on Privately Protected Areas and Nature StewardshipCo-Editor of the special edition of PARKS.

During the coming year, governments and others will be gathering in a series of international meetings to decide how to stabilise our climate, save biodiversity, secure human health and revive the global economy. Through all these events should run this golden thread:learn the lessons of COVID-19 by protecting nature and restoring damaged ecosystems. This is the mission that all with the power to bring about change must now pursue”, said Adrian Phillips, Co-Editor of the special edition of PARKS.

Now more than ever, we understand how human, animal, and ecosystemhealth are inextricably linked. As the world seeks relief from the current COVID-19 pandemic and now develops strategies to prevent future pandemics, national parks and protected areas have an essential, protective public-health role to play. Intact nature buffers the risk of pandemic spillover from wildlife to people. It is a value that can be easily incorporated into existing protected-area management strategies, but this has yet to be done“, said Gary Tabor, President of the Center for Large Landscape Conservation and Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas’ Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group

COVID-19 and protected area tourism – A spotlight on impacts and options in Africa – EU publication

Screenshot Cover COVID Africa

The world was rocked in 2020 by a global pandemic arising from a new coronavirus. The virus, thought to have transferred to humans from a wildlife species, raised awareness of the links between wildlife exploitation, trade and zoonotic disease transfer.

This paper describes the impact of COVID-19 on wildlife tourism in protected areas, considering implications for the tourism sector and local communities.

The paper shares the results of new research from tourism stakeholders globally, combined with recent market intelligence on the impacts of the pandemic. It confirms the importance of protected areas for sustainable tourism as a present and future pillar of the African economy. 

Access the paper from the Publications Office of the EU here