Saving threatened habitats worldwide

The end of the year: Successes and challenges

31 December, 2009 - 12:13 -- John Burton

As the year end approaches I am looking back over what at first sight seems a very successful year. Certainly we have raised more funds than ever before. We have extended our network of partner organisation and we have helped them buy and protect thousands of acres of land. That's the good news.

The downside is that we have seen land prices begin to increase fairly dramatically. Probably the result of the recession. Putting money in the bank produces very low rates of return; land is a significantly better long-term investment. Hundreds of acres of Chaco are cleared every day in Paraguay. And there is little the government appears to be able to do about it.

Our success at saving land has brought its own problems -- how to manage and protect those lands. Next year we are going to try and raise funds to cover the cost of rangers and guards. In South America, in most of the countries we work in, as little as $5000 a year will keep a ranger in the field.

When you bear in mind that in Paraguay we only have five guards looking after an area the size of East Anglia, you can perhaps appreciate why we would like to fund a few more.

Perhaps your company/school/ amateur dramatics group/football team or whatever other group you belong to could consider raising the funds to keep a ranger in post. £10,000 over three years is not an unrealistic target, and it would make a real difference.

Any Offers? You would even be able to go and meet 'your' ranger if you wanted to.

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