World Land Trust
|Slogan||Saving threatened habitats worldwide|
The World Land Trust (formerly the World Wide Land Conservation Trust) is a UK-based nonprofit environmental organization established in 1989. Its primary aims are to ensure conservation of plants, animals and natural communities in areas at risk. For this purpose, it privately funds the purchase of large tracts of land by local NGOs for the purposes of protecting it, in a fashion similar to the Nature Conservancy by making use of land trusts. The organization also seeks to help in-situ conservation measures by providing training, capital and equipment for environmental stewardship in economically backward areas. The World Land Trust also offers to offset the carbon emissions of individuals and businesses. It is affiliated to the World Conservation Union. Along with the WCU, it co-organized the first symposium on private nature reserves for conservation, named Land Purchase as an Intervention Strategy for Biodiversity Conservation in 2006. The noted environmentalist John Burton is the CEO of the Trust.
A short history
The World Land Trust (originally the World Wide Land Conservation Trust) came into being in 1989 when the Programme for Belize was launched to raise money to privately buy land in Belize to protect tropical rain forests. The core of the trust was a $ 10,000 start up donation from the Massachusetts Audubon Society to John Burton, for the purposes of setting up an office in the United Kingdom for the trust in January 1989. An initial appeal was made in the BBC Wildlife magazine in April 1989 and was followed up by a fundraiser by noted naturalists Gerald Durrell and his wife Lee Durrell at the London Butterfly House in May 1989 when the Durrells formally declared the Trust open. The Trust then went on to help purchase and conserve land in Costa Rica and other Latin American countries like Patagonia in Argentina . They have since expanded operations to Asia and Africa, and even own a small reserve in Gloucestershire, locally in the United Kingdom. The Trust has maintained its links with the Durrell Conservation Trust, and Lee Durrell was the keynote speaker at the WLT's 20th Anniversary celebrations in 2009. The Trust's patrons are Sir David Attenborough, Chris Packham, and David Gower. Other high profile supporters of the Trust have included Ken Livingstone, David Bellamy, Bill Oddie, Frank Thornton, Simon Barnes and Mark Carwardine .
A partner organization, World Land Trust - US [formerly World Parks Endowment] was also created in 1989, and like WLT is a non-profit organization that funds local organizations to buy land and protect rainforests and other critical habitats in the tropics. Both organizations are dedicated to minimizing their costs in order to allow donated funds to flow to real habitat conservation projects on the ground. Most land purchases are made at an average of only $100 an acre. Since its founding, WLT-US has saved over 700,000 acres (2,800 km2) of land -- 62,500 acres (253 km2) purchased outright and over 600,000 acres (2,400 km2) created as governmental protected areas.
The Trust manages a Diploma course with the University of East Anglia (Norwich) The Trust manages several websites, all of which have links to the main site: www.worldlandtrust.org. The Trust also initiated Green Ink, a unique support from writers, authors, photographers and illustrators, which involves Public Lending Rights, PLR's.
The Trust raised over £2.5-million to fund land purchase and conservation in 2009.
- Tropical Forest Conservation in Ecuador, working with Fundacion Jocotoco, Fundacion EcoMinga and Pro Bosques
- Atlantic Rainforest Conservation in Brazil working with REGUA
- Wild Lands Elephant Corridor Project in India, working with Wildlife Trust of India
- Chaco Pantanal Reserve in Paraguay, with Guyra Paraguay
- Grasslands in the Kinangop Highlands of Kenya with Nature Kenya
- Orangutan corridors in Borneo with LEAP
Other current project involvement:
- Patagonia Restoration Fund, on the Ranch of Hopes Wildlife Refuge, previously purchased with funds raised by WLT, working with Fundacion Patagonia Natural
- Friends of Belize, Belize working with Programme for Belize on the protection of their lands, much of which was funded with the help of World Land Trust
- Danjugan Island Support Fund, Philippines WLT funded the purchase of the island and now liaises with the Philippine Reef & Rainforest Conservation Foundation (based on Negros Island) on its protection.
- Carbon Restoration. WLT undertakes a range of restoration ecology projects, with funds raised through Carbon Balancing, on behalf of companies and individuals.
- Kites Hill Reserve, Gloucestershire United Kingdom, was donated to the Trust and is managed as a nature reserve.
- Management of the conservatory Wyld Court (now The Living Rainforest) - a tropical forest exhibit, in Hampstead Norreys