Thursday 12th December 2013
Admin and Financial Matters
Trustees congratulated staff on a very successful year, and recognised the tremendous effort in delivering this outcome. The management accounts for October were reviewed. Results to date were very positive, boosted by Big Match Fortnight: an extremely successful campaign to raise funds for the Borneo Rainforest Appeal held at the beginning of the month.
Trustees were advised that the budget for 2014 was being compiled, and would include an aspirational target to raise £5 million through an ambitious fundraising programme to mark the Trust’s 25th anniversary year.
Head of Communications Viv Burton reported to Trustees and Council Members on highlights and key events of 2013, and priorities for the anniversary year:
- Big Match Fortnight: an integrated programme had been developed to launch and promote the fundraising campaign. Trustees and Council Members thanked WLT staff, donors and all who had made the BMF such a success. A total of over £750,000 was raised and fundraising for Borneo would continue. It was hoped that the target of £1 million pound could be raised by the middle of 2014. Funds raised were already enabling land purchase and protection of strategically important parcels of land to create a wildlife corridor within the Kinabatangan floodplain.
- Big Match Fortnight had not had any negative impact on other fundraising during the period and the intention is to hold another BMF in October 2014.
- Events: the events of the year were reviewed and in particular it was noted that Controversial Conservation (with Chris Packham, held at the Royal Society) had sparked a great deal of interest, with ticket sales to near capacity. Plans were in place for events in 2014, the Trust’s 25th anniversary year.
- Council reviewed a report on the performance of the website since its relaunch earlier in the year. It was noted that the improvements in the website and increases in social media activity were also translating into increased donations.
- Teething problems in implementing the new donor database had now been largely resolved, enabling more efficient processing of donations and improved reporting. A new online donation system was ready for testing and was expected to go live in the New Year.
- Trustees and Council Members welcomed Sir Ghillean Prance, who gave an illustrated presentation on the Emerald Green Corridor project in Misiones Province, in NE Argentina. Sir Ghillean had advised WLT on the protection of the first reserve in the Emerald Green Corridor, which was completed in 2012 in a ground-breaking agreement between the Ministry of Environment of Misiones Province, the representatives of the Guaraní community, a representative of Mocona Forestal (the original titleholder of the land) and a representative from FuNaFu (WLT’s project partner in Argentina). Sir Ghillean explained that the agreement served to address the future of the traditional communities, the forests and their biodiversity, and urged WLT to continue supporting this important and fragile region.
- Trustee Dr Simon Lyster reported to Trustees and Council Members on his recent site visit to WLT project area in Sabah, Borneo. He assured Council that the stunning success of the BMF was being matched by the conservation achievements on the ground. Dr Lyster had met with a variety of government officials and ministers, who expressed their support of Hutan’s conservation programme, and gratitude to WLT.
- The CEO gave an illustrated presentation outlining main conservation achievements since the previous Council Meeting, and noted potential project highlights for 2014.
- Trustee and Council Members reviewed and approved the conservation programme for 2014.
- The CEO reported on his recent site visit to Iran, where he had been welcomed with enthusiasm by Iranian conservationists keen to work with WLT. A proposal to accept the Iranian Cheetah Society as a new WLT Programme Partner was approved.