Some of the best innovations are blindingly obvious once they have been implemented.
World Land Trust Innovations
When the World Land Trust (WLT) started working with local partners back in the late 1980s and refused to get involved in direct management of the projects, it was an innovation. Now many organisations are beginning to follow this method, though none are perhaps quite as hands off as the WLT. But we believe that it is only by empowering our partners can the long-term sustainability of our projects be guaranteed. There is a lot more thought behind this simplistic statement, but nonetheless it is fundamentally true.
Symposium on charitable giving
Another innovation has been the getting together all the interested parties involved in a project. The WLT has for several years now made sure that donors have the opportunity to become directly involved in the projects they are funding. This can be done in a wide variety of ways, and this culminated last month with an experimental symposium on charitable giving, lasting one day, when we tried to get a selection of interested parties together in one room.
It was a cross section of our overseas partners (five NGOs purchasing land with funds provided by the WLT), together with corporate donors, European NGOs with which the WLT cooperates over funding issues, as well as individual donors to the projects. The numbers were restricted, to ensure a full and open discussion, and the only 'stakeholders' not present were the very top and the very bottom levels. The latter being the grass-roots communities, and the former the governments, ministries etc.
However, there were limits to what we could achieve. This may or may not have been the very first time such a meeting was held, but if it wasn't, then it is difficult to find out about the results of earlier meetings. All our participants said how useful it was, and we will be publishing something in the near future.
For further information on how the World Land Trust operates, read our Mission Statement.