The World Land Trust eBulletin Issue 33,
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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
Cristian Medrano relief mapping pasture land at the Buenaventura
WLT Expedition sets up long term monitoring of forest biomass
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
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.
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
Read more about the World Land Trust's climate change policy on
the WLT website.
An acre of wilderness is one of the greenest gifts you
can give - or receive.
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?
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
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.
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
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
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