Conservation Highlights from last year
A round-up of last year's activities by World Land Trust (in the UK and USA) in our conservation project areas around the world.
Partner organisation: REGUA
In 2007, WLT helped REGUA add 1,000 hectares of land to the reserve, and the Trust is currently attempting to raise the funds for eight active land acquisition projects.
35 hectares of the land adjoining the REGUA reserve were purchased following a successful application for €46,000 to IUCN-NL's Small Grants for the Purchase of Nature Programme. Funding for this small but significant piece of land also came with an additional €2,000 for REGUA to use in exchange visits or towards attendance at conferences abroad.
Land protection and re-introductions at the REGUA reserve
Habitat restoration work at REGUA was supported by Scottish and Southern Energy. This covered establishment of 12,200 trees this year.
A visit to REGUA was made by the winners of the competition run by the Express Newspapers and World Land Trust and organised by Trips Worldwide.
John Burton, CEO of WLT (UK) hosted a very successful journalists' visit to REGUA that included Simon Barnes (journalist from The Times), Peter Hughes (journalist from The Telegraph) and Emily Mott (photographer for The Telegraph). The visit resulted in several news articles about the reserve and WLT's work in the area:
- Reassembling Eden
- A beer with the nectar slurpers
- Reverence in a green cathedral
- Good news from the forest
The Red-Billed Curassow re-introduction programme continued to be a success - so much so that it has led to a re-introduction programme for a second bird species: the Black-fronted Piping Guan, which is also highly endangered but was previously found within the reserve area.
- Land protection and re-introductions at the REGUA reserve
- Re-released curassows are persisting in the wild
- Re-released curassows may already be breeding
- Fundación Jocotoco
- Fundación Eco Minga
- Fundación Pro-Bosque
WLT donors helped Fundación Jocotoco (FJ) fund critical acquisitions at four of the foundation's eight reserves:
The land purchases at Buenaventura and Tapichalaca Reserves were funded in conjunction with WLT's Carbon Balanced Programme (see carbon sequestration, below). Match funding was also received for from the American Bird Conservancy for further extension at Buenaventura.
2,113 hectares was purchased as phase one of a new project to preserve a large tract of virgin forest containing a unique diversity of endemic orchids. This followed a proposal submitted to WLT by Lou Jost of Fundación EcoMinga to create a corridor between two National Parks, Sangay and Los Llanganates.
- Co-operation in Saving Rare Orchid Sites
- Forest saved! Land destined for logging saved by corporate donation
- New land purchases in Ecuador and Paraguay
The reforestation work funded by Scottish and Southern Energy was fully established in 2007, working with Fundación Pro-Bosque and Fundación Jocotoco at four sites:
- Cerro Blanco
Some 61,000 native trees have been planted, which involved setting up and/or re-equipping tree nurseries in each of these areas. All of the plantings buffer, connect or fill cleared areas in the reserves.
The nurseries and field teams are now prepared to meet the 2008 target of planting a further 380,000 trees. The funding also covers field staff, fire training and construction of a new forest guard station.
Tree planting at Buenaventura
The Yanacocha carbon sequestration project was fully established this year, including a nursery for native species with an output capacity of 20,000 seedlings per year. This has been used to restore forest cover with the financial support of Maryvale Farms and Bird Holidays.
Two new Carbon Balances projects were also established at Tapichalaca and Buenaventura. Both offset CO2 emissions using a mixture of forest protection, natural regeneration and enrichment planting with native species.
Carbon Balanced project areas
Partner organisation: Wildlife Trust of India
The final instalment of WLT's commitments towards the Siju-Rewak Elephant Corridor was made in June. Following this, 200 hectares adjacent to the corridor has been officially declared as the Siju Arthika Reserve Forest which is one of the first community designated reserve forests in India.
The progress of the Tirunelli-Kudrakote Elephant Corridor continues in Kerala. Activities have included the straight purchase of land, as well as providing alternative housing outside the corridor area for some of the residents. These were formally handed over in 30th April by a Member of the Legislative Assembly during a local ceremony leaving the Thirulakunna settlement completely without human inhabitants.
Partner organisation: Guyra Paraguay
3,500 hectares has been purchased in the Dry Chaco, representing the first phase of this project.
World Land Trust, World Land Trust-US, and American Bird Conservancy joined forces - and funds - for a purchase of 600ha at San Rafael, with the funds raised by WLT and WLT-US matched by ABC.
New land purchases in Ecuador and Paraguay
The first phase of the construction of the "Three Giants" biological station was completed last year. Land purchase continues at the reserve with a strategic purchase encompassing a large portion of the river bank covering an area of 1779 hectares.
Scottish and Southern Energy funding was used to support a 12 ha pilot planting at San Rafael. This will now be maintained and expanded to about 50 ha per year, plus maintenance for three years after planting.
Fundación Avifauna Eugene Eisenmann, Panama
WLT has helped US donors participate in the international effort to build the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center on Pipeline Road of the Panama Canal. This state-of-the art facility will promote conservation of rainforest habitat to the canal's international visitors and the millions of Panamanians who live close by.
Kites Hill Reserve, United Kingdom
Kites Hill, located in Gloucestershire, is the only reserve owned by the World Land Trust rather than a partner organisation. An application submitted to the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust resulted in a pledged donation of £5,000 to go towards the construction of a pond at Kites Hill that aims to increase the biodiversity at the Reserve.
Osa Biodiversity Center, Costa Rica
The Osa Peninsula holds a fairly intact remnant of Pacific coastal rainforest. WLT donors are supporting research on three rare bird species restricted to the region of the peninsula, the Mangrove Hummingbird, Yellow-billed Cotinga, and Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager. The research supports efforts to permanently protect areas of habitat.
Sierra de Alamos Reserve, Mexico
WLT supported Nature and Culture International in purchasing land to expand their 7,500-acre private reserve within the Sierra de Alamos reserve in northern Mexico. This reserve protects the northernmost tropical deciduous forest in the Americas, a highly diverse but endangered ecosystem that used to extend from Sonora to southern Central America, but is now highly fragmented.
Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, Mexico
This reserve is recognised as being the most ecologically diverse of all the natural protected areas in Mexico. A purchase of 100 hectare property at the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve represents the first half of WLT's avoided deforestation and assisted regeneration project in the reserve.
For more information about the WLT's projects, see