World Land Trust (WLT) works to protect some of the world’s most biodiverse and threatened habitats acre by acre. To do this, WLT empowers local NGOs by providing finance and technical support to create and protect nature reserves, restore degraded habitats and ensure they are permanently protected.
An essential part of WLT's philosophy is always to work through local partners and rely on local expertise. Unlike some organisations, WLT does not have its own local offices or direct the priorities of its partners. However, when required WLT assists with technical knowledge and supports the development of local skills and partner capacity.
It is important to be able to quantify results, and having areas of land under active conservation by WLT's partners is the best way to highlight the Trust’s achievements.
WLT projects use the below approaches, which are funded through a variety of mechanisms including special appeals, grants and Payments for Ecosystems Services (PES).
WLT was one of the first organisations in the world to focus specifically on the conservation of threatened habitats through land purchase. Working with partner organisations across the world, WLT funds the purchase or lease of threatened land to create nature reserves, protecting both habitats and their wildlife.
WLT does not own or manage any of the areas it helps save outside of the UK: the land is always purchased, protected and managed by local partner organisations or communities.
Once land is under conservation management by WLT partners, options are investigated to restore deforested land and degraded habitat, reconnecting previously fragmented forest patches. This can be achieved using two techniques; tree planting and removing a threat to allow forest to regenerate naturally.
The Carbon Balanced Programme utilises REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) to fund the protection and restoration of areas of threatened forest, and reduce emissions that contribute to climate change. WLT currently implements a number of REDD+ projects from WLT’s self-certified projects in Ecuador to dual certified projects in Paraguay.
Once land is secured and reserves are created ongoing management is needed to ensure they remain protected. WLT funds its partner NGOs to employ individuals from local communities as reserve rangers and protect some of the world’s most threatened habitats and the animals found within them. Funded by our Keepers of the Wild Programme, these rangers allow WLT’s network of partner organisations to take action on the front line, acting as their eyes and hands in the field.