Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Puro Fairtrade Coffee films go to the heart of WLT’s conservation work

30 April, 2015 - 16:47 -- World Land Trust
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A coffee coloured frog sitting on a leaf.
Andy Orchard on a viewing platform in the rainforest canopy of Ecuador.

Andy Orchard of Puro Fairtrade Coffee visited the headquarters of World Land Trust (WLT) in Halesworth in April to report on his recent trip to WLT projects in five Latin American countries.

Andy made the field trips in order to film different aspects of the conservation work being carried out by WLT in partnership with the Trust’s overseas project partners in Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Peru.

During the visit to WLT Andy showed rough cuts of the films; the final versions will be released over the next few months.

Not only is Puro generous in its donations (since its founding in 2005 Puro Fairtrade Coffee has donated 2 per cent of its sales to WLT), but its commitment to supporting community-led conservation is inspiring.

“These films truly capture and communicate the essence of the people and places that are at the heart of WLT’s conservation work”, said John Burton, WLT Chief Executive.

Species named after Puro

In Ecuador Andy met Lou Jost founder of Fundación Ecominga. Lou took him to see rare orchids at high altitudes in reserves owned and managed by Ecominga. Andy and Lou were joined by Keepers of the Wild Luis and Jesus Recalde, who are dedicated to monitoring and protecting rare species in the reserves.

Andy has met with Lou previously and Puro Coffee has a special relationship with Ecominga: two species newly discovered in Ecuador have been named after Puro.

In 2011, an orchid species of the genus Teagueia, discovered in Ecominga’s Cerro Candelaria reserve, was named Teagueia puroana. The naming recognised Puro Coffee’s support for land purchase and conservation in Ecuador through WLT.

More recently, a new species of frog (the description of which was published in international scientific journals December 2014) was named Pristimantis puruscafeum after Puro Fairtrade Coffee. The dark brown, coffee coloured frog was discovered by Ecominga’s reserve manager Juan Pablo Reyes and his associates at the Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias Naturales.

Golden Poison Frog

In Colombia Andy visited the Golden Poison Frog Reserve which was created in 2012 thanks to a generous donation from Puro. The reserve provides the only protected habitat on earth for the endangered Golden Poison Frog (Phyllobates terribilis), which contains enough poison to kill 10 humans. Despite its lethal potential, Andy held his nerve and the frog!

In Guatemala Andy visited the country’s western highlands where a funding commitment from Puro in 2014 has helped save remnants of the region’s montane tropical karst forest on the northern, southern and eastern side of Laguna Brava

Andy also visited Honduras, where a donation from Puro has saved an area of cloud forest inside the Volcán Pacayita Reserve of western Honduras. 

In Peru he travelled to the high Andes where he met community representatives leading the development of a private conservation area in Segunda y Cajas

More information

Since 2006 Puro donations have funded the creation of reserves in Colombia in partnership with Fundación ProAves, in Ecuador in partnership with Fundación EcoMinga, in Guatemala in partnership with Fundación para el Ecodesarrollo y la Conservación, in Honduras in partnership with Asociación Ecológica de San Marcos de Ocotepeque and in Peru in partnership with Naturaleza y Cultura Peru.

In addition, Puro has supported conservation in Brazil, where WLT works in partnership with Reserva Ecológica de Guapi Assu, and in Borneo, where WLT works in partnership with Hutan and LEAP Spiral.

Corporate support helps fund more than half of WLT’s conservation work. Find out more »


Submitted by Chris Redston on

It's so nice to hear about a company that is doing something like this. I wonder how many other companies out there could afford 1 or 2% to help save a species? Sounded like a great trip and I'm very jealous! Well done, Puro!

Submitted by Lou Jost on

Andy, it is always a pleasure to host you here in the EcoMinga reserve you helped create. You are a model not only of corporate responsibility but also of real personal passion for what you are doing. It is refreshing to see that. Not many people have the drive to climb steep mountains in the rain and cold for days on end to see special creatures. You did that and more. Best wishes, Lou

It is an absolute pleasure to be able to do what I do for a living whilst surrounding myself with the incredible people that make up WLT and their partner organisations. Immersing myself in nature will always trump sitting in an office...

My hope is that the films might help to inspire new long-term WLT corporate supporters, whilst further facilitating the sharing of problems faced and solutions possible across these partner regions.

Lou, thanks to you and your team for making the Ecuador film possible and for your amazing discoveries. Ecuador sits as my favourite from the mix and serves as a reminder as to how special the time was there.

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