How We Work
The World Land Trust Mission and Operation
The mission of the World Land Trust is:
- To protect and sustainably manage natural ecosystems of the world. To conserve their biodiversity, with emphasis on threatened habitats and endangered species;
- To develop partnerships with local individuals, communities and organisations to engage support and commitment among the people who live in project areas;
- To raise awareness, in the UK and elsewhere, of the need for conservation, to improve understanding and generate support through education, information and fundraising.
An essential part of the World Land Trust's philosophy is always to work through local partners. We believe too many organisations ignore the opinions of local NGOs and try to impose management systems on them. The WLT tries to empower local NGOs by providing finance for land purchase, and also for other activities if the local partners request it. We have been able to provide a wide range of assistance, including equipment (computers, GIS), technical advisors on short term contracts, publications and reference books.
How the World Land Trust operates
The World Land Trust differs from most other international Non-Government Organisations. It emphasises the importance of supporting local conservation groups and always working through local partners. Unlike the majority of international organisations the WLT does not put its own staff in charge of operations, but relies on local expertise.
The World Land Trust depends on public donations to assist with land purchases. Although the WLT raises funds for purchase overseas, the management and ultimate ownership is with the appointed local conservation group. The WLT is strongly opposed to "green colonialism".
The World Land Trust assists with technical expertise, such as marketing, fundraising and publicity when requested, but wherever possible supports the development of local expertise, by funding study tours and training.
The World Land Trust encourages small-scale, sustainable development, so that projects can become financially independent. This is in contrast to many international projects that have lavish funding initially, but are not sustainable without grant aid.
The World Land Trust believes that it is important to be able to quantify results, and that the area of land now under active conservation by WLT's partners is the best ambassador an organisation can have.
The World Land Trust does not hoard reserves of cash – it tries to have enough funds for three months operation, but believes it should spend as much as possible on land purchase and management, and the development of sustainable income for the reserve.