It was with great sadness that the World Land Trust learned of the death of Christopher Parsons OBE, on the 8th November 2002. David Attenborough described Chris as probably the most important natural history film maker of the last century, whose work included making the ground breaking "Life on Earth" series, to the more recent developments of the WildscreenTrust and the state of the art "Digital Noahs ark" ARKive. Christopher Parsons used the media of TV, IMAX Film and the web to bring natural history to a wider audience, and his work continues to inspire many new generations of conservationists today.
On the 3 July Sir David Attenborough launched the appeal for the Christopher Parsons Rainforest. About 70 family, friends, work colleagues and admirers of Chris gathered in the lecture hall of the Linnean Society of London. The Linnean Society of London was an appropriate location, as Chris was one of the select few Honorary Fellows of the Society, along with Sir David Attenborough .
Sir David spoke about his friendship with Chris, which spanned over 50 years, and Chris's work on behalf of wildlife conservation. Dr Gerard Bertrand then gave a presentation about the forests that the World Land Trust was buying as a permanent memorial to Chris. High in the Amazonian Andes of Ecuador, the World Land Trust's partner organisation, the Fundacion Jocotoco, is acquiring several hundred acres of forest, that teems with wildlife. In fact the area is described as one of the most species rich in the entire world - a truly fitting memorial to a man who brought wildlife to so many people all over the world.
By the end of the evening over £10,000 had been raised, guaranteeing a reserve of at least 400 acres, but donations are still welcome. You can make a donation online or by calling the World Land Trust on 01986 874422.
The Christopher Parsons Rainforest forms an extension of the Tapichalaca Reserve in Ecuador. Tapichalaca is located on the east slope of the Andes and extends from an altitude of 3500m on the Continental divide to a lower limit currently of about 1900m. Habitat types range from Andean paramo, through wet upper temperate montane forest to lower montane or sub-tropical forest. The location, climate, and habitat types support an extraordinary variety of species, a high proportion of them endemics and globally endangered to some degree.
It currently protects about 3000 hectares, including 14km of both sides of the highway from Loja to Zumba, and now forms a southern extension to Podocarpus National Park.