Online Symposium 2022


Human Rights and Climate Change:
The Benefits of Linking Both Agendas in Tourism


11:00 AM - 02:30 PM CEST

Free of charge

For many tourism businesses, commitments to sustainable development and climate action are already high on the agenda.

Corporate responses to climate change include a broad range of business decisions - all of them have the potential to impact human rights. At the same time, human rights due diligence has great potential to support effective climate-related decision-making.

Tourism as a service-oriented sector strongly depends on social responsibility and respect for human rights. Tourism activities contribute to climate change, and climate change affects every link in the tourism value chain.

This online event offers inputs around a human-rights-based approach to climate action in tourism through practical steps and shared experiences. We will elaborate on tangible ideas and how to combine both strategies, by

- Understanding the link:
The linkages between climate protection and human rights are multifaceted and undeniable. We show you the overlaps and connections, explain why this is relevant and what it means for the tourism industry.

- Showing Benefits and Approaches:
We will discuss why tourism businesses should integrate human rights into climate change-related actions. We will build the business case by showing how they benefit from combining and aligning both discourses.
We will assess what effective climate actions are and discuss practical approaches companies can take to integrate human rights due diligence on business and destination level in their climate action plans.

- Joining forces:
We want to initiate joined-up discussions and interlink business, human rights and climate action through our collective expertise. We also see this event as an opportunity for exchanging knowledge and ideas regarding approaches, existing resources, good practices and ways of collaboration. The aim is to gather hands-on ideas and inspiration on how to unite both agendas for comprehensive business action.


11.00 am - 11.10 am CEST


Tamsin Rose is a facilitator, speaker and trainer with an interest in sparking new ideas to address big societal challenges.
With three decades of experience in communications, and advocacy and network building, her clients range from small non-profits to international institutions and everything in between. She has led a European platform of public health NGOs, managed an EU programme to twin cities in west and eastern Europe, was a radio journalist and now connects citizens’ experiences with the Brussels policy bubble.

11.10 am - 11.15 am CEST


"Nexus Climate Change and Human Rights"

Naomi Swickard is Head of Public Affairs at South Pole, where she stewards South Pole's thought leadership within the climate space and sustainability transition. Naomi has worked in carbon markets and environmental finance for more than 16 years. Prior to South Pole, she was Verra's Chief Program Officer, overseeing the Verified Carbon Standard, as well as the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCB), Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta), Plastic Standard, and LandScale. Over her 13 years at Verra, she oversaw the development and evolution of several standards and programs, including developing the Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ framework. 

11.25 am - 12.00 pm CEST


"The Business Case of a Joint Agenda in Tourism - Going Beyond the Status Quo"

Daisy Scholte is Impact Manager at Better Places, a social enterprise and the first tour operator with a B Corp certificate in the Netherlands/Belgium. Better Places is a frontrunner in sustainable travelling. It has won several prizes, including the Golden Responsible Tourism Award for Decarbonising Travel & Tourism. 
As a travel journalist with a strong focus on sustainability, Daisy has extensive knowledge and field experience with community-based tourism and sustainable tourism. As Impact Manager, she is now working on mapping and measuring the positive and negative impact of tourism, and in particular individual trips sold by Better Places.


"Climate Action and Human Rights in Tourism - A Voice From the Ground"

Gopinath Parayil (Gopi) is social entrepreneur and the founder of pioneering responsible travel company, The Blue Yonder. With a background in community based palliative care and disaster management, Gopi has an MBA from ENPC, Paris and MSc in Disaster Management from Cranfield, UK. With the increase in the frequency of disasters related to the climate crisis, he has been re-purposing his tourism business to be a first responder and working with the development sector to build community focused climate resilience as well as climate responsibility. A visiting fellow at the University of Brighton, UK, Gopi is the co-founder of Chekutty, a beacon of resilience during the 2018 Great Floods of Kerala and Resilient Destinations Foundation in India.

LUNCH BREAK - 12.10 pm - 12.45 pm CEST


"Move to (Business) Action – Impact-Driven Measures to Protect People and Environment"
We will look at what effective climate action is, explain the relation to human rights due diligence and clarify why thinking both agendas together is so important, especially in tourism.
We discuss what is needed for realizing progress and this means for tourism businesses on operational level. 

Moderated by 

  • Jeremy SmithClimate Adviser, Travel Foundation; Co-Founder, Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency
    Jeremy is a writer and strategist for climate action in tourism. In 2020, he co-founded Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency, a global initiative calling on tourism destinations and businesses to work together on equitable science-based climate action. In 2021, he was a co-author of the UNWTO-led Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action in Tourism, which launched at COP26 in Glasgow. He is now working as the Travel Foundation’s Climate Adviser, supporting the development of their Climate Action Programme for destinations. He is the author of the books Transforming Travel - realising the potential of sustainable tourism and Clean Breaks - 500 New Ways to See the World; he advises destinations and businesses in sustainable tourism strategy; and he sits on the advisory boards of the Future of Tourism Coalition and Travalyst.


  • Prue Stone, Group Head of Sustainability Hotelplan UK
    Prue is Group Head of Sustainability at Hotelplan UK, a family of specialist tour operators incorporating ski companies Inghams and Esprit Ski, alongside adventure travel brands Explore, Inntravel and Santa’s Lapland. She has fifteen years experience in the travel industry, adopting a broad and encompassing approach to sustainability and driving genuine change. 
  • Justin Francis, Co-Founder and CEO, Resonsible Travel
    Justin is CEO at Responsible Travel, the world’s first business dedicated entirely to responsible tourism which he founded in 2001. Prior to that he spent 10 years at J. Walter Thompson Advertising and worked with Dame Anita Roddick (a seed investor in Responsible Travel) at The Body Shop. Justin is a senior advisor to UK Government Ministers on business and nature, and a Board Director at a Kenyan safari company (Basecamp Explorer) that works with the Maasai to protect 420k hectares of land for nature, carbon and their community. In 2017 The Guardian described Justin as ‘the great activist traveller.’ 
  • Stefan Gössling, Professor, Lund University and Linnaeus University Kalmar, Sweden.
    Stefan is specifically interested in climate change, transport policies, transport psychology, and transport economics.  His ambition is to contribute to basic and applied science, with the overall objective to develop solutions for a growing number of environmental problems. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Sustainable Tourism and has worked in a wide range of countries in the European Union, the Middle East, East Africa/Western Indian Ocean, and the Caribbean. He has also worked on behalf of various supranational organizations including UNEP, UNWTO, OECD and World Bank, and he has been a contributing author to the UN IPCC Forth Assessment report.


"Get Started - Key Steps for Human Rights-Based Climate Action in Tourism"

Tourism stakeholders share their advice for climate action and human rights due diligence in tourism.
Stay tuned for this compiled video featuring, among others, Xavier Font (University Surrey), Susanne Etti (Intrepid Travel), Peter-Mario Kubsch (Studiosus Reisen) and Manuel Maribur (Mapuche Leader from Chile).  

2.00 pm - 2.20 pm CEST


We want to gather approaches, existing resources, good practices and ways of collaboration: 
Let's exchange knowledge and hands-on examples and guidance on how to integrate both agendas in comprehensive business action. We will collect and cluster all inputs for further use. 

2.20 pm - 2.30 pm CEST

More details on the programme and speakers will be available here soon. Stay tuned!