The World Land Trust (WLT) formally launched its new campaign to raise funds for elephant corridors in N E India, at a reception held in the Mall Gallery on the 30th September. The Reception was multi-faceted - not only launching the Elephant Corridor Project, but also bringing together Green Ink Supporters (writers and artists who donate Public Lending Rights to the WLT), as well as showing a video of one of the world's rarest birds, and displaying an exhibition of original Christmas card designs used by the WLT.
The Mall gallery is currently showing the annual exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA), and Bruce Pearson, the President of the SWLA invited the World Land Trust to put on a display relating to the Trust's use of art and design. Part of the display relates to the results of a Christmas card design competition organised in conjunction with BBC Wildlife Magazine and the winners can be viewed on the World Land Trust's web site - as well as at the Mall Gallery.
Dr Gerard Bertrand, Honorary Chairman of the World Land Trust announced the new project in Megalaya, N E India, which will create corridors between national parks and forest reserves, so that the populations of endangered Indian Elephants can move between them. These corridors will also provide habitat for many other endangered species. The initial target of the project is to raise £25,000, which will not only protect the corridor lands, but also help develop sustainable livelihoods for the villagers. Dr Bertrand, who is a US citizen, was in the UK to attend the RSPB's Annual General Meeting at the weekend, when he will receive the Society's Medal for his tireless work for bird conservation, world-wide. Other guests present at the Mall Gallery included David Gower, who is a Patron of the World Land Trust and David Shepherd, a tireless campaigner for elephants.
The guests were also able to view some video footage taken in Ecuador, which showed the first video ever taken of the Jocotoco Ant-pitta, one of the World's rarest birds. It was filmed by WLT Trustee, Dr Nigel Simpson, on land adjacent to the Christopher Parsons Rainforest - the Trusts latest reserve, launched by Sir David Attenborough in July.
Donations to help conserve the elephant corridor can be made on line at the WLT's website: www.worldlandtrust.org, and donors will receive a certificate, as well as newsletters and an information leaflet about the corridor project.