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eBulletin - Conservation News from the World Land Trust World Land Trust - UK based conservation charity

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The World Land Trust eBulletin Issue 33, October 2005

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In this issue:
Climate Change and Nature Conservation:
The science behind the story
Working with local communities in Ecuador
WLT's climate change policy
Rainforest Acres – for a Green Christmas Gift
The Chaco - Grassland Under Threat
WLT News in Brief

Climate Change and Nature Conservation

The science behind the story

Relief mapping
Surveying Work. Cristian Medrano relief mapping pasture land at the Buenaventura reserve.

WLT Expedition sets up long term monitoring of forest biomass in Ecuador

In order to get the facts and figures to back up the Carbon Balanced programme currently being carried out, WLT sent an expedition to Ecuador to set up long term forest biomass monitoring sites. The team, made up of WLT carbon sequestration research officer Oliver Blakeman, WLT special advisor Dr Dominick Spracklen, former WLT intern Andrew Blyth and Maria Karlsson, an ecology student from Sweden, spent 3 months working with Ecuadorian students and the Jocotoco Foundation (FJ) in the south of the country.

The initial results of the study, which measured the biomass of nine different forest and pasture sites in two FJ reserves, are promising, showing high rates of carbon storage in the cloud forests. The WLT aim is to put in place long term monitoring of these and further sites in order to monitor the changes in biomass over the next 20 years. “Trees are about 50% carbon, and they take this carbon from the air. By planting trees we are removing carbon from the atmosphere", said Oliver Blakeman, who is now back in the WLT office continuing his work on the Carbon Balanced programme. “The most important thing for the [WLT’s] Carbon Balanced programme at the moment is to ensure that we back up the programme with hard science.”

The survey sites have attracted attention from other researchers, with plans to conduct full tree species inventories, succession studies, studies into reforestation methodologies and tree species density work.

The success of the expedition has further highlighted the value of the WLT’s partnerships with NGO’s in the countries in which it works. The Carbon Balanced programme is already generating funding for land regeneration in Ecuador and there are plans to extend the research to other WLT projects.

Offset your carbon emissions by making a donation to tropical forest in Ecuador

Young students
Environmental Education. Andrew Blyth, left and Diana Hermida, with young students at the Tapichalaca reserve.

Working with Local Communities in Ecuador

The expedition team worked with 18 students from four universities in Ecuador on the forest studies and environmental educational programmes, with the help of FJ’s staff. One of the aims of the expedition was to transfer the equipment and skills necessary to continue this work to Ecuador, and thanks to the enthusiasm of FJ and the students involved there is now a network of trained people throughout the country equipped for future studies.

The environmental education programmes are a core part of FJ’s work, raising awareness of conservation and building relations with the surrounding towns and villages. With the expedition’s involvement it was possible to extend the programme to cover three local schools, with a week's activities that culminated in a field day for each school at one of the FJ reserves.

WLT's climate change policy

Global warming will affect all of us; indeed rising sea levels, desertification or other loss of agricultural land could result in many human populations around the globe being displaced. The same applies to the flora and fauna in natural habitats. So, as a charity concerned with nature conservation, the World Land Trust has developed a two-pronged approach:

  • Regenerating and protecting forest land to remove carbon dioxide;
  • Creating, where we can, wildlife refuges that can accommodate climate change.

Read more about the World Land Trust's climate change policy on the WLT website.

Climate Change and Nature Conservation - What the World Land Trust is doing

Rainforest Acres – for a Green Christmas Gift

An acre of wilderness is one of the greenest gifts you can give - or receive.

Relief mapping
A Gift Certificate will show your contribution to wilderness conservation.

Long term subscribers already know this, but we think it is worth repeating: Buying an acre of rainforest, or other wilderness under threat, really is one of the best things you can do for the planet. If these habitats are allowed to disappear the wildlife within them will face almost certain extinction. One acre (0.4 hectares) may seem an area too insignificant to be worth saving, but if every one of our 3,600 eBulletin subscribers bought just one acre each, the WLT would be able to purchase a whole new reserve.

An acre of rainforest makes a perfect Christmas gift, and not just for giving others; you might like to add a rainforest acre to your Christmas wish list too. As always, an acre bought as a gift will include a certificate that records how much land you have helped save on behalf of your recipient.

Together WLT supporters have saved over 300,000 acres of wildlife habitats - please will you help us save even more?

Save Rainforest as an Alternative Christmas Gift

The Chaco – Grassland Under Threat 

Anaesthetised jaguars
Two jaguars anaesthetised to be fitted with radio collars so that they can be tracked. This is relatively easy in the open terrain of the chaco grassland.

WLT looking to create grassland reserve in Paraguay.

Together with its partners in Paraguay, GUYRA, the World Land Trust is investigating the possibility of purchasing land in the Paraguayan Chaco, to create a new reserve.

Most people know that rainforests are endangered, and in the case of Paraguay this is certainly true. However, in many cases grasslands are even more threatened. In England, where the WLT is based, over 95% of flower-rich meadows were lost during the course of the 20th century. And in South America habitats such as pampas and chaco are easily converted into pasture lands for cattle.

Chaco grasslands are very important for wildlife thanks to the open nature of the habitat. They are among the best places for seeing Jaguars and a large range of other wildlife. Paraguay is the meeting point for several major habitats, so it is possible to see a wide variety of wildlife in what is a relatively small country. There is, therefore, a great potential for eco-tourism, which could help make a potential reserve self-sufficient.

More information about this project will be provided in future issues of the eBulletin and on the website.

WLT News in Brief

Event reminder: See Bill Oddie Live at the RGS, London

Wednesday, 2 November 2005 at the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) offers an opportunity to meet with Bill Oddie, watch the film Bill Oddie with Penguins, Parrots & Whales on a big screen, and listen to him talking about the filming, which took place at the WLT reserve Ranch of Hopes in Patagonia. There are a few tickets remaining, which at a cost of £10 each and are available from the World Land Trust office or online. (The cost includes postage and packaging.) Pre-booked tickets may be collected at the venue on the day of the event.

Order tickets to see Bill Oddie at the RGS

New Intern at the WLT - and vacancies for two more

The WLT's previous interns Vicky Evans and Jessica Reiss have recently completed their internships. Vicky is now doing a Masters degree in environmental modelling and Jessica has a job with a TV production company respectively. We would like to welcome new intern Katie McGregor who has joined the Trust to help develop the Trust's Carbon Balanced programme and gain an insight into all other aspects of conservation project development.

We currently have vacancies for two additional interns; a Projects Liaison Assistant and a Web Development Assistant. Both positions are for six months and offer the successful applicants a unique opportunity to work within an international conservation charity, developing the project management skills they will need for a career in wildlife conservation. The deadline for both positions is the 30th October with interviews being held during the week beginning 14th November.

Read more and apply for an internship position

STOP PRESS: Elephants come to Norwich

Yesterday evening (27th october) a reception was held at the Country & Eastern emporium in central Norwich. The guest speaker was Vivek Menon, the Executive director of the WIldlife Trust of India, WLT's partners in India. This was an extremely successful event and full details will be featured in the next eBulletin issue - out early December.

The World Land Trust is a UK based conservation charity no.1001291 concerned with the protection of threatened habitats world wide.
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