Africa Travel Week

CATCH-UP: Tourism and Biodiversity, Friend or Foe?

Post Covid-19, how can we reset tourism’s relationships with nature to contribute positively to conservation and contribute more significantly to the livelihoods of the communities who bear the opportunity costs of maintaining the wildlife and other species that the tourism industry sells?


Dr Luthando Dziba
Co-Chair Multidisciplinary Expert Panel of Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity & Ecosystem Service

Dr Luthando Dziba is the Co-Chair of the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel of the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). He is also the Managing Executive for Conservation Services at South African National Parks, responsible for Scientific Services, Veterinary Services, Conservation Planning and Cultural Heritage. He joined SANParks following a seven-year stint at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), first as an ecologist and then manager for the Ecosystem Services research area, which led cutting edge research on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Coastal Systems and Earth Observation.

Professor Emma Archer
Associate Professor in Geography and Environmental Studies: University of Pretoria

Professor Archer is a geographer, working on sustainable agriculture/managed ecosystems and climate in Africa. She is an Associate Professor in Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Pretoria. Her postgraduate training was at the University of Cape Town, and at Clark University in Massachusetts, with postdoctoral work hosted at Columbia and the Pennsylvania State University. Her research focus is largely on drylands, with experience throughout the SADC region and on the continent. Her two main study sites are the southern Waterberg, Limpopo Province; and the eastern Karoo; in South Africa.

Paul Simkin
Founding member: Nkwichi Lodge, Malawi

Paul Simkin has worked in the Horn of Africa for the past 20 years. Paul specializes in peace building and governance, he has played an active role in the work around Kenya’s post election violence, conflict in the great lakes region and the protracted Somali crisis. Paul has done a wide range of governance related work, from electoral support, parliamentary assistance, local governance through to institutional capacity support. Privately he has maintained a personal commitment to environmental protection, eco tourism and is one of the founding members of Nkwichi lodge.

Michael Lutzeyer
Owner: Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. South Africa

Entrepreneur par excellence Michael Lutzeyer is the quintessential advocate for responsible tourism. As owner of the five-star Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, which he built on a UNESCO-recognised hillside where a continent ends, two oceans collide and the smallest of the world’s six floral kingdoms flourishes. Winner of the “Green Palm Award”, Michael is an icon of sustainable luxury travel around the world – a leading ambassador for responsible and sustainable business practice with shared value for all.

Richard Vigne
Managing Director: Ol Pejeta Conservancy Group, Kenya

The son of a tea planter, Richard was born in Kericho in western Kenya. He studied Zoology at Newcastle University and thereafter worked as the operations manager for a safari company in Uganda and western Zaire. In 1994, Richard returned to the UK to complete a Masters degree in “Management for Agricultural Development” prior to taking up his current position as Managing Director of Ol Pejeta Conservancy.


Dr Shaun Vorster
Advisory Board of World Tourism Forum Lucerne

Dr Shaun Vorster serves on the Advisory Board of World Tourism Forum Lucerne and is steering the World Travel Market Responsible Tourism workstream on Biodiversity. Shaun has a track record of three decades as a strategy practitioner, of which nearly two decades in the travel and tourism industry and sustainable mega-project development. Environmental stewardship and social impact cut across his portfolio of professional activities in the private sector, government, think tanks and academia. He originally cut his teeth as a strategist navigating complex political and stakeholder environments during South Africa’s first 20 years of democracy (post-1994), inter alia, as special adviser to a premier and cabinet ministers.

Africa Travel Week

Africa Travel Week (ATW) focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology. Shows include: ILTM Africa, WTM Africa, EQUAL Africa, ibtm AFRICA, Travel Forward, Sports & Events Tourism Exchange and African Tourism Investment Summit.