Wednesday 25th May 2011
Twenty-first Annual General Meeting
Draft Annual Report & Accounts for 2010
- The Accounts were reviewed. The Chairman congratulated all WLT staff on achieving a strong performance during a difficult economic period. The draft Annual Report and Accounts for 2010 were unanimously approved.
Appointment and Re-appointment of Trustees and Officers
- Dr Gerard Bertrand was re-elected as Honorary President.
- Mark Leaney was re-elected as Honorary Treasurer.
- Albertino Abela, Dr Nigel Simpson and Dr Simon Lyster were re-elected as Trustees, having stepped down in 2009 according to WLT's rules on rotation of Trustees.
- Andrew von Preussen was elected as a new Trustee.
Appointment of Auditors
- Lovewell Blake were re-appointed as Auditors.
Eighty-second Council Meeting
Election of Chairman and Council Members
- Rohini Finch was re-elected as Chairman of Trustees.
- Elaine Shaughnessy was re-elected as a Council Member, having previously stepped down to take up a paid position with the Trust to co-ordinate the Trust's Chelsea Flower Show exhibit.
Admin & Finances
- Management Accounts for April 2011 were reviewed. Unavoidable delays in the implementation of the REDD+ Paraguay Forest Conservation Project with Swire Pacific Offshore; it was reported that land purchase issues which had held up the project had been resolved and work could begin on the validation process. The impact of the recession had been seen to affect income in other areas, and measures were being taken to address this. The April 2011 Accounts were approved by Trustees.
- Work had begun to restructure the website in order to strengthen the Trust's fundraising impact.
- A new Complaints policy had been reviewed by A&F Committee, who recommended its approval by Trustees. The policy was intended to be published on the website, and procedures had already been instituted to operate the policy.
- It was reported that the hairdressing business which had occupied part of the Blyth House premises had closed and the premises had been vacated earlier in the month. Options for using the vacated premises as a gallery were under consideration and expert advice was being sought.
- A brief report from the previous meeting of the Directors of WLT Trading was given; draft Accounts for 2010 had been approved, subject to amendments noted at the meeting.
- The Trustees approved the proposals put forward by the A&F Committee to review and formalise its structure and terms of reference.
- The Board reviewed the Conservation Programme and Budget update: it was noted that the Action Fund was being utilised to speed up purchases in order to secure land in the face of rapidly escalating costs, and that income from fundraising would be used to replenish the Action Fund.
- The Board discussed a draft paper on collecting natural history specimens on WLT funded reserves. It was agreed that WLT and its partners needed to formulate a clear and coherent position on the practice of collecting specimens of rare species for scientific collection and study, and that the present draft formed the basis of a workable policy. The Board approved a revised draft, which would be circulated to partners for further comment. The partners would be encouraged to endorse and adopt the final approved policy, which would also be published on the WLT website.
- Members of the Programmes team updated The Board on the status of conservation programmes, both current and in development. Major initiatives within the Ecosystem Services team were reviewed; these included significant developments with key corporate supporter Howard Smith Paper Group (Carbon Balanced Paper), and other potential REDD+ projects.
- Keepers of the Wild: it was reported that fundraising was going well, with interest from zoos, schools and companies. Support for the project has included donations in kind such as cameras, binoculars and clothing. Responses to the programme from the Keepers in the field had been very positive, and they were maintaining communications with written reports, photos and video clips, some of which are posted on the WLT website.
- Ambassadors programme: the programme was being well received, with very positive feedback on the events held so far, and a number of good potential new contacts. The programme was proving particularly effective as a means of raising awareness among corporates and potential high donors, creating good PR, and of cementing relationships between WLT and its supporters.
Following the formal business, a programme of presentations was given by members of WLT staff on various aspects of the Trust’s work.