Saving threatened habitats worldwide

John Burton's Green Diary

  • 24 April 2014
    Bethan John’s article about the threats faced by the Ayoreo community in Paraguay’s Gran Chaco (Defending the Chaco: what’s at stake?) touches on some tricky ques...
  • 15 April 2014
    The Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) in Kew, London, are under threat. Cuts in funding mean that up to 120 jobs could be lost. This is a disaster for anyone involved in conservation...
  • 09 April 2014
    Passionate Collaboration? Taking the Pulse of the UK Environmental Sector is the title of a report from the Environmental Funders Network (EFN).  I responded to the survey...
  • 08 April 2014
    IUCN World Parks Congress in 2014 is to be held in Sydney, Australia, in November. Why? Because it was invited to hold its conference there, and members then decided it would be a...
  • 10 March 2014
    In Britain the Red Kite and the Buzzard, which have both increased their range in recent years, are heralded as conservation successes. And rightly so. But these successes are few...
  • 26 February 2014
    On a recent visit to the northern Chaco of Paraguay I saw one of the most depressing examples of the misapplication of foreign aid. All over the world I have seen numerous examples...
  • 20 February 2014
    I have just returned from a visit to the Chaco of Paraguay with naturalist and TV presenter Nick Baker and Iain Barr from University of East Anglia. As a follow up, Guyra Paragu...
  • 04 December 2013
    The Big Give Christmas Challenges starts tomorrow – Thursday 5 December 2013 – but after taking part in the Big Give in 2011 and 2012, World Land Trust (WLT) is not par...
  • 28 November 2013
    I have just come across this short film, which tells the story of the environmental devastation that can be caused simply by building a road through a forest. I think it’s...
  • 15 November 2013
    Conservationists have battled with the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife derivatives for around 50 years, and the situation is for most species at its worst ever. In Octobe...
  • 11 October 2013
    As I write, rain is lashing the offices of World Land Trust (WLT) in Halesworth, and I find myself hoping that the bad weather will continue into next week. Why? Because the...
  • 10 October 2013
    I have been enjoying a collection of essays by Jonathan Franzen (How to be Alone, 2002). In one essay, entitled Why Bother?, Franzen explores the lack of support for contemporar...
  • 03 October 2013
    Just back from a week’s holiday in Greece, and while there I pondered two things: why the Greek economy collapsed, and how it might possibly be relevant to the work of World...
  • 05 September 2013
    Readers of my blog will know that I can be critical of awards and ‘gongs’ of various sorts. However, believing to a large extent that my views are rare and a bit unu...
  • 09 August 2013
    The idea of harvesting rhino horn, and even ivory, has been around for as long as I can remember - at least as far back as the 1970s. But before discarding the idea, I’d like...
  • 07 August 2013
    We learn from recent news reports that William Shawcross, Chairman of the Charity Commission, has warned that inappropriately high levels of pay for charity chief executives may br...
  • 22 July 2013
    I asked Tesco (last week) for their current position on selling live turtles (terrapins) in China, and foie gras in Hungary. Both cruelty issues, and not normally a WLT issue,...
  • 18 July 2013
    I had the temerity to write on twitter the other day that I “saw the RSPB's TV advert for first time. Didn't like it one bit. Almost seemed to be forgetting the B in...
  • 17 July 2013
    Despite the recession, more people are supporting us. Every month so far in 2013, internet donations to World Land Trust (WLT) have been greater than in the same month in 2012....
  • 11 July 2013
    I receive many requests for help in publicising conservation issues. Generally speaking, unless the issue is something we are already aware of, it’s not possible to offer ass...
  • 10 July 2013
    I have always considered privatising monopolies such as water and energy as illogical in environmental terms. In the private sector the only way a company can add to its profits...
  • 04 July 2013
    While reading literature and leaflets about charity conferences, I have been struck recently by a major difference between today’s events and the sort of conferences I used t...
  • 13 June 2013
    How many people have ever read the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples?  It is one of the most verbose and contradictory documents I have ever co...
  • 30 May 2013
    I am regularly asked why isn’t World Land Trust and its work better known? This is a question to which I have various responses. We could spend loads of money on print...
  • 29 May 2013
    I read that the Zoological Society of London is seeking 300 volunteers to strip off as part of a Streak for Tigers event in August (streak being the collective term for tigers)....
  • 22 May 2013
    State of Nature, a report launched today with the backing of 25 UK conservation organisations, highlights the depressing, ongoing decline of British wildlife. Sir David Attenbor...
  • 20 May 2013
    Restoration ecology and the Portland vase: what have these in common? While wandering through the British Museum (BM) the other day I found myself looking at a selection of Gree...
  • 08 May 2013
    I love browsing old travel guides, particularly those that relate to countries where World Land Trust (WLT) has partner organisations. One I bought  recently, The South Ame...
  • 02 May 2013
    World Land Trust has entered the list of top 3000 charities, according to Caritas Data’s recently published Top 3000 Charities 2013 (21st Edition). Caritas sent me a free...
  • 24 April 2013
    Paul and Anne Erlich were among the earliest of what can be described as the prophets of doom. Back in the early 1970s they were warning that the human population was out of contro...
  • 17 April 2013
    A few weeks ago I wrote about the concerns that some conservationists have that NGOs are not critical enough of each other. Well, here goes… I recently came across a crow...
  • 08 April 2013
    Last weekend seemed at last to herald spring after what seems the longest winter since 1963. That year I was birdwatching at Beddington Sewage Farm, in south London, and this last...
  • 04 April 2013
    Many years ago I sat on what was then the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food’s Advisory Panel on Badgers and Tuberculosis. On several occasions I asked if more resear...
  • 02 April 2013
    The long, bitterly cold winter of 2013 will have catastrophic impacts on Britain’s wildlife. Hedgehogs and bats may well suffer irreversible declines because of the weather....
  • 30 March 2013
    I wrote the following letter in response to an article in Third Sector magazine about top level pay in the charitable sector (19 March 2013, pages 9-11). The article on the high...
  • 28 March 2013
    World Land Trust (WLT) often collaborates with American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and a recent ABC newsletter focuses on the declining numbers of shorebirds (or ‘waders’ t...
  • 19 March 2013
    Yet another charity is jumping on the ‘Goat Bandwagon’. Age International is using cute little Pygmy Goats to front a campaign calling on grandparents to donate unwante...
  • 14 March 2013
    Conservation and animal welfare are two subjects that are often linked (at least in the human mind). They are in fact two very distinct issues. This was brought home to me on re...
  • 06 March 2013
    Mark Avery (formerly of RSPB) writes possibly the best known and most widely read wildlife blog. A few days ago he wrote: 'My view is that wildlife NGOs aren’t very go...
  • 05 March 2013
    To a certain extent this is a repeat of some of my earlier blogs, but while CITES is meeting in Bangkok, I feel it is worth revisiting the subject of bans. The Vatican and CITES...
  • 26 February 2013
    It is clear that existing anti-poaching measures are not working. In 2012 a record number of rhinos were poached in South Africa, 668 in total, according to the South African go...
  • 21 February 2013
    I have to confess a sympathy for absurdist philosophy. For a rationalist, anti-theist like me, absurdism fits very well with the way a conservationist needs to look at the world. I...
  • 20 February 2013
    What, you might well ask is the connection between the Chaco, and the horse meat scandal affecting the British food industry? The answer is very simple: the demand for cheap bee...
  • 17 February 2013
    Earlier in the week I met Chris Packham in Kew Gardens, where he was filming. When he’d finished we had lunch together. It was our first meeting since he became a Patron o...
  • 13 February 2013
    Readers of this column (sorry, blog – old habits die hard) will know that World Land Trust's Patron Sir David Attenborough has been outspoken in recent years about the hu...
  • 12 February 2013
    For once I am not talking about wildlife reserves, but charity financial reserves. It is considered good practice for a charity to have financial reserves to see them through a...
  • 11 February 2013
    ‘Saving Real Acres in Real Places’ is a strap-line that World Land Trust (WLT) regularly uses. But does it describe us as best we can? WLT is fortunate to have a sen...
  • 05 February 2013
    Not so long ago Maureen Minchin lived in the Waveney Valley of Suffolk. I came to know her through a shared love of nature, and her highly original slipware is decorated with an ab...
  • 05 February 2013
    There is currently an exhibition of Edward Lear prints on display in World Land Trust (WLT) gallery. Alongside works by Lear are prints by his contemporaries, and it is interesting...
  • 05 February 2013
    As the game bird shooting season draws to a close in the UK, a recent report highlights the problems of spent ammunition in the environment. People living in rural areas in Brit...

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