79th World Land Trust Council Meeting
Thursday 16th September 2010
The Meeting began with a Trustees-only Meeting to deal with governance issues for which the Trustees are responsible. This was a change of format, proposed by the Chair to make the main Board Meeting more engaging for Council Members by focusing on conservation and fundraising issues.
- Admin & Finances: Management Accounts for August 2010 were presented; income remained ahead of 2009 year to date, although it was running behind budget. No immediate cause for concern was expressed and the situation was expected to improve in the final quarter. The results of the recent Elephant Parade and Emeralds for Elephants auctions raised in the region of £80,000 for conservation.
- Programme Budget: A revised version of the Programme Budget Sheet was approved.
- Internal Development Strategy: The latest update to the rolling Internal Strategy Development report was reviewed, and Trustees approved recommendations for structural changes to the internal organisation of the Trust designed to streamline the management structure and enable the Trust’s staff to manage continuing growth.
- Investment proposal: The Trustees agreed to support a reedbed harvesting project in southern Ukraine aimed at developing commercial sustainable bio-mass energy production.
- Conflicts of interest: Trustees approved an updated Conflict of Interests policy, taking into account statutory requirements and advice from Charity Commission.
- Programme Procedures - Multiple Partner Countries: Trustees reviewed a paper outlining the benefits of working with multiple programme partners within single territories; while agreeing that the Trust should be free to work with multiple appropriate partners, the importance of recognising the interests and knowledge of existing project partners was acknowledged.
Full Board Meeting
New Council Member Dr Lee Durrell was welcomed to her first Council Meeting.
- Presentation - The First 6 months: John Burton gave an illustrated presentation on the Trust’s achievements in the first half of 2010.
- Buy an Acre fundraising: The acre price for the Buy an Acre fundraising was discussed: increasing land price inflation was making the current £50 price unviable. While there was concern at the possible negative effect of increasing the price to a more sustainable £100 per acre, other options including raising matched funding were felt to go against the Trust’s clear policy of transparency in fund-raising. An increase to £100 per acre was agreed with effect from January 2011. New Buy an Acre projects were being developed.
- Conservation Activities - Ecological Services: Agreement had been reached on another major REDD+ carbon project based in India with a major shipping line. The project will be worth $2.5 over 10 years if it successfully proceeds to implementation following the development phase due to begin in 2011.
- Presentation - Developing Conservation Initiatives: Roger Wilson presented an overview of possible areas in which WLT could develop the carbon offsetting model to other elements of biodiversity, such as water resources/watershed protection, sustainable forestry, etc. It would become increasingly important to move beyond the carbon offsetting model alone, and to offer a package of environmental services; WLT was considered to be well positioned to be in the forefront of developments.
- New Partnership and Programme Evaluations: The Board discussed and approved proposals to accept new programme partners:
- Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC), Armenia; the CEO had made a recent field trip to Armenia to meet the FPWC and assess the potential for collaboration.
- Nature & Culture International (NCI): in the first instance WLT are likely to be working with NCI Ecuador, with a particular interest in a potential land purchase project containing an important element of watershed protection.
- Fundación Pro-Bosque: The proposal sought to extend an existing partnership basis beyond the current contractual relationship relating to the SSE tree-planting programme to include additional conservation activities, including potential land purchase projects.