Saving threatened habitats worldwide

94th World Land Trust Council Meeting

18th June 2014

AGM and Meetings



Retirement and election of Chairman

  • Rohini Finch stepped down as Chair of Trustees, her six-year term as Trustee having expired.  She thanked all Trustees for their support during her chairmanship over the past 3 years and confirmed her wish to remain as a Council Member.  Dr Simon Lyster was unanimously elected as Chairman

Appointment of new Council Members

Trustees appointed 4 new Council Members:

  • Rohini Finch, on her retirement as Trustee
  • Stanley Johnson
  • Dr Mark Avery
  • Dr Iain Barr

Admin & Financial Matters:

A brief summary of main points of discussion at the previous A&F Committee meeting was given:

  • WLT had received notification of substantial legacy; consideration was being given as to the use of the funds once they were received.
  • WLT Risk Assessment: A&F Committee had established a procedure for monitoring and dealing with key risks.
  • WLT gallery: JAB reported that a 6-month trial agreement had been made with Wildlife Art Gallery in Lavenham to manage the Gallery on a profit-sharing basis.  Trustees welcomed this news and the choice of WAG as a partner.

Audited accounts 2014:

  • The audit completion document and draft accounts had been scrutinised by members of the Admin and Finance Committee.  With a total revenue of £3.47m, compared with £2.45m in the preceding year, the Trust had enjoyed an exceptional performance in 2013.  Thanks were expressed to the Head of Finance and her team for achieving such a clean audit. Trustees agreed to recommend to Members of WLT approval of the audited accounts at the AGM.

Management Accounts for April:

  • Trustees reviewed and approved the management accounts for April.  It was noted that while income to the end of April was slightly below expectation, the underlying pattern remained strong and WLT remained confident that it was on target to meet the budget.

Staff salary recommendation:

  • Trustees approved a recommendation for a staff salary increase.

Any other business

  • The CEO announced that position statements were being drafted on WLT’s policies on engagement with the agriculture and mining sectors.


Annual Report & Accounts for 2013.

  • The audited accounts were reviewed and approved.  It was agreed that 2013 had been an outstanding year for WLT, with a total revenue £3.4m, achieved while maintaining strict control of costs.
  • The accounts for World Land Trust Trading Ltd had been reviewed at the preceding meeting of Directors and approved.
  • Appointment of Auditors: The Honorary Treasurer thanked the auditors, Lovewell Blake, for their continuing support and good understanding of the Trust.  Lovewell Blake were then unanimously re-appointed as auditors. 

Appointment and re-appointment of Trustees and Officers

  • Dr Gerard Bertrand was unanimously re-appointed as the Trust’s Honorary President.
  • Myles Archibald was unanimously re-appointed as Honorary Treasurer.

Retirement of Chair of Trustees

  • Rohini Finch retired as a Trustee, having completed her 6 year term of office.  It was confirmed that she had agreed to remain as a Council Member. Trustees and Council members thanked her for her service, and paid tribute to her strong and effective chairmanship during the previous 3 years. 

Appointment and Re-appointment of Trustees

  • Dr Nigel Simpson and Andrew von Preussen were re-elected as Trustees, having stepped down in accordance with Rule 24 of the Articles of Association.
  • Kevin Cox, Chairman of World Land Trust Trading Ltd and member of the A&F Committee, was elected as a Trustee.



  • Dr Simon Lyster, incoming Chairman of Trustees, opened the meeting with thanks to all who had supported WLT during its first 25 years, and whose efforts had contributed to the success of the Trust, including outgoing Chairman Rohini Finch, Honorary President Dr Gerard Bertrand, Patrons and Ambassadors, all members of the WLT Board and the staff.
  • Trustees approved in principle a proposal for a special appeal on behalf of REGUA, intended to capitalise on public interest in Brazil in connection with the World Cup, and recent television programmes about securing rainforest.
  • Education, Outreach & Training Manager, Kelly Jacobs, gave a presentation to the Board, introducing all staff members.

Conservation Programme

  • Conservation Programmes Manager Mary McEvoy and Senior Conservationist Roger Wilson gave a joint presentation highlighting conservation developments and successes in the previous 12 months, during which time funds to secure 89,000 acres had been transferred to partners.  Following from the success of the Big Match Fortnight appeal for Borneo in 2013, plans were being made for the 2014 Big Match Fortnight appeal.
  • Recent successes for the Eco-System Services team were highlighted, including a second verification achieved in Paraguay, releasing additional carbon credits, and implementation of a second generation carbon project in Vietnam.
  • Dave Wright, newly appointed Head of Programmes, presented his outline programmes strategy going forward.  While acknowledging WLT’s conservation achievements over the past 25 years, he pointed to the challenges ahead in the face of globally escalating land prices and explained the importance of working with local partners to develop strategic conservation programmes. He stressed the longer-term need, in landscapes threatened by development, to build cross sector relationships with companies, governments and local communities to secure commitment to conservation goals and to secure the level of long term funding required.

Development Activities


  • Head of Communications reported on the success of the Borneo appeal, and previewed forthcoming major appeals, in particular Great Garden Give and Big Match Fortnight.
  • Trustees and Council Members heard that increasing numbers of visitors to WLT website were using mobile devices.  Social media activity continued to grow, engaging supporters and directing visitors to the website.
  • The challenge of generating a schedule of stories for website’s news and events pages was highlighted.  These were important in stimulating interest and raising awareness, and maintaining WLT’s rankings on search engines. 

Development Strategy:

  • Tina Neill, recently appointed to the new post of Head of Development, gave a presentation outlining her initial thoughts on the direction of a long term development strategy, the key elements of which included:
  • Engagement with existing and lapsed supporters.
  • Developing the audience through campaigns such as Great Garden Give, and planning local and regional events.
  • Developing a strategy to increase legacies.
  • Working with teachers so support fundraising.

The next step would be to develop a three-year strategy and establish priorities for action. 

WLT Financial Review: 

  • Head of Administration and Finance, Liz Stone, presented a review of the financial underpinning for WLT’s conservation programme. WLT had ended its first 25 years in a very strong financial position.  Main sources of income had been individuals and, especially, corporates. This trend was likely to continue, and although effort would be invested into developing revenue from alternative sources, the results would take time to emerge.  WLT had become firmly established in its first 25 years as a credible organisation with considerable leverage. 
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