Thursday 13th September 2012
The Meeting began with a Trustees-only meeting to discuss governance and administrative issues.
- Dr Simon Lyster was appointed Vice Chair of Trustees;
- The membership of the Trustees’ Administration & Finance Committee was reviewed and strengthened with the addition of additional Trustee members and the appointment of a new chair, who would also act as Honorary Treasurer.
- Issues relating to the finalisation of the audited accounts for 2011 were discussed. Final amendments relating to the REDD+ Paraguay Forest Conservation Project were proposed, and a timetable agreed for the audit to be completed and filed.
- The management accounts up to end August were reviewed; it was noted that aside from Contract income, revenue overall was ahead of budget, with individual and partner donations performing particularly well. The appointment of Elizabeth Stone as Head of Finance was announced.
- It was agreed that the CEO and Head of Finance would work on a cost reduction plan to restore the balance of the Trust’s unrestricted reserves.
- Trustees reviewed a paper outlining the impact for WLT’s programme partners of the relationship with the Trust in helping to leverage significant additional funds for conservation over and above the funding raised directly by WLT. It was agreed that this was a great achievement, and that the partnership with the Trust offered significant benefits to all members of WLT’s network of partners.
Follow the meeting of Trustees, a meeting of the full Council of the World Land Trust was held.
- Highlights of the conservation programme since the previous Council Meeting included:
- Completed land purchases in Mexico and Ecuador, with further purchases in the pipeline in Colombia.
- Successful completion of the special appeal to raise £25,000 to protect the Yellow-shouldered Parrot in Venezuela.
- The launch of a new special appeal to protect the Caucasian Leopard in Armenia.
- The Keepers of the Wild programme would be the beneficiary of the Big Give campaign in December 2012.
- Buy an Acre in 2013 would support all partners in Ecuador, as well as Mexico and Colombia.
- Council Members discussed the potential for large-scale campaigns to raise significant funds to secure land for conservation in areas with very high land prices, such as Borneo, where a number of critically important properties had been identified It was agreed to explore options for a high profile campaign with a view to securing the Borneo properties within a year.
- Trustees approved a proposal to accept Bolivian NGO Asociación Armonía as a new programme partner.
- Trustees reviewed a paper on the Trust’s fundraising strategy. Attention was drawn to a column by Vice Chairman of Trustees, Dr Simon Lyster, in the current edition of WLT News, in which Dr Lyster made a personal appeal for supporters to consider remembering the Trust in their wills.
- An update was given on some key corporate supporters, among them The Body Shop whose Wood Positive campaign was supporting reforestation in Brazil and southern Ecuador.