05 November 2021
Hi, Fellow Companions!
Last October 21, 2021, we attended an in-depth and very insightful dialogue session with our association, Equality in Tourism.
Karen, the founder of Travel Matters, moderated a discussion focused on the impact of climate change on women in tourism, with the ambition to see if this could be declared in response to the 2021 UN Conference of the Parties on Climate Change.
All dialogue participants shared their own experiences on the impacts of climate change on women and tourism. The main themes discussed were the uncertainty of weather patterns and how this impacts on loss of crop yields, disruption of water sources and access to water, impacts on girls' education, job loss, loss of businesses, and poverty--examples included Costa Rica, Bali, Tanzania, Nepal, Zimbabwe.
Brenda, Lecturer and Gender Specialist from Makerere University, Uganda, provides an example of how in Uganda's Bwindi forest, local communities are encouraged to supply produce to upscale cottages. With uncertain weather patterns, gorillas, which are the attraction, have migrated. Harvest times are also unpredictable, and the women who provide the food can no longer do so.
Pierrette from France also spoke about how small operators with a commitment to local communities are struggling--not just for climate change, but for Covid-19, and the fact that big business is being supported during the pandemic--but ironically, they are not--especially for women who run small companies--so everything goes backward.
The planet has been damaged and the voices of women are not heard. Tourism, transport, and the abuse of the planet's resources must not be ignored. But while tourism exists, we must promote an ethic of caring and social solidarity that is driven by human rights.
Dialogue participants have agreed to try and develop a declaration with respect to COP 26 that can be used as needed on our website, and/or shared with various organizations representing tourism and environmental issues such as The Future of Tourism, which are less concerned with raising women's issues and climate change: https://www.futureoftourism.org
During a time when the world's eyes are on the Climate Crisis we want to ensure that Gender Equality isn't left out of the conversation. Together with our associates, we have writen a declaration on sustainable tourism and women's place within it. Read it here: https://bit.ly/3BUbgE3 #Cop26 #GenderEquality
Moving forward from our first agenda, EiT associates agreed to meet next year in January 2022! We will make sure to update you guys about the discussion that we are going to have so that we can conquer the challenges in this industry together!
Stay tuned! :)
Anindwitya R. Monica