Saving threatened habitats worldwide

World Land Trust in the News

World Land Trust (WLT) and its network of partners carries out innovative conservation work that is regularly featured in local and national media. This page displays a selection of news articles featuring WLT, ranging from our work to conserve threatened habitats and species to our high profile events.

Click on the article links to read the full stories online. Articles without links are in print only or require a subscription to be viewed online.

  • Bird Race Challenge 2017: Was that a Hen Harrier?

    17 May, 2017

    "Did you see it?"

    I did. A ghost of a bird — too pale for a Marsh Harrier, clearly the wrong shape for a gull … Could it have been the mythical 'Skydancer'? No, no, I was assured. A pale Marsh Harrier maybe, but not the bird I've only ever seen stamped on profile pictures across Twitter — a male Hen Harrier.

    We couldn't stay any longer to check anyway, as we were on a time-constrained mission. Maybe we'd speak to the landowner, nature writer Simon Barnes, on Monday and see if he'd had any sightings there recently, but for now it was time to get back in the car and head for our next destination, for we were taking part in the Bird Race Challenge — and were 'only' on 87 species.

    The Bird Race Challenge gives you and your team 24 hours to try to see as many species as possible. It is ultimately a test of how well you know your 'patch' and an intense exam of bird identification — both sight and sound ID counts, but everyone in your team has to see (or hear) it … and agree.

  • Rare Parakeets Benefit From Reserve Expansion

    Nat Geo Voices
    10 May, 2017

    In good news for several globally threatened bird species including El Oro Parakeet, the nonprofit conservation group Fundación Jocotoco, with the support of American Bird Conservancy (ABC), Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC), World Land Trust (WLT), and other donors, has secured critical habitat and expanded its Buenaventura Reserve in Ecuador.

    The reserve is the sole protected area for the Endangered El Oro Parakeet, which numbers fewer than 1,000 individuals and is found only on the western slope of the Andes in southwestern Ecuador. The area also provides wintering habitat for migratory birds that nest in North America, such as Blackburnian Warbler.

  • Letter from Attenborough stops bridge building proposal

    BBC Wildlife
    3 May, 2017

    David Attenborough helped change the minds of local government officials regarding plans to build a highway bridge in Malaysian Borneo.

    The bridge, often referred to as the ‘Sukau bridge’, would have been built across the Kinabatangan River and Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary in the state of Sabah.

    “I am immensely pleased to hear that plans to build a bridge over the Kinabatangan River at Sukau have been cancelled,” said Attenborough.

    A number of conservationists had raised concerns over the bridge due to its potential to increase the isolation of groups of endangered mammals and environmental damage that could be caused during construction.

  • Sir David Attenborough stops rainforest home of elephants and orangutans being destroyed

    21 April, 2017

    Sir David Attenborough has stopped a wildlife paradise for endangered pygmy elephants and orangutans from being destroyed by bulldozers.

    The legendary television presenter's pleas to prevent a road being driven through the Bornean rainforest that has created a special place close to his heart have saved the precious wilderness.

    Building a road bridge across the Kinabatangan River and Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary in Malaysian Borneo would have isolated the small groups of orangutan and elephant that survive in the remote forests.

    Other wildlife would have also suffered during the heavy construction work, leading Sir David to make a heartfelt plea to the chief minister of the Malaysian state of Sabah, warning of the "significant negative effects" the road bridge would have on wildlife.

    It has now been announced that Sir David's letter, written in his capacity as a patron of the World Land Trust (WLT) and campaigning by fellow conservationists have won the day.

  • David Attenborough’s ‘Guardian headline’ halts Borneo bridge

    The Guardian
    21 April, 2017

    Officials in Borneo have cancelled plans to build a bridge across the Kinabatangan river, after warnings from Sir David Attenborough and other conservationists that it would gravely endanger pygmy elephants, orangutans and many other jungle species. The news comes just weeks after the Guardian revealed Attenborough’s opposition to the project.

    Attenborough originally sent a private letter to the chief minister of the state of Sabah, Musa Aman, in September 2016. Last month, with signs pointing to the bridge still going ahead, the Guardian published excerpts from the letter. The authorities in Borneo have described Attenborough’s now-public opposition as the final blow to the project.

    “I am immensely pleased to hear that plans to build a bridge at Sukau have been cancelled,” said Attenborough, who is a patron of the World Land Trust, which has saved forest in the Kinabatangan area. “This region is recognised worldwide as being a vital enclave for threatened wildlife, and it is indeed good news that the safe passage of orangutans, pygmy elephants and other endangered wildlife will not be threatened by the bridge and all that would have come with it. The decision will [also benefit] the local people who welcome visitors who come to see the wonderful biodiversity of their forests.”

  • Bill Oddie backs Big Charity Bird Race to re-create 1980s’ spirit of fun and fundraising

    East Anglian Daily Times
    14 April, 2017

    Bill Oddie’s reflection sparkled in the gleaming trophy that is a silver symbol of a golden age of birdwatching.

     quirky Holy Grail of the birding world, the unique silverware is an icon of the outstanding ornithological richness of Norfolk and Suffolk.

    Broadcaster Mr Oddie, a lifelong birdwatcher, sat just inches from it at a table in the Halesworth headquarters of the global conservation charity the World Land Trust. He was tantalisingly close to the trophy he never won despite several attempts during what is regarded by many as the heyday of British “bird racing” - the now-legendary Big Bird Races of the early 1980s that were centred on the two great East Anglian birding counties.

    Now, Mr Oddie is supporting a re-run of the race for the trophy – an inspired idea that aims to recreate the spirit of those manic, exhausting but fun-filled whirlwinds of birdwatching in which his team from the Flora and Fauna Preservation Society (ffPS) was up against a Country Life magazine team. The four members of each team hurtled around Suffolk and Norfolk on an allotted day in May, heading for far-flung, well-known hot-spots such as RSPB Minsmere and RSPB Titchwell, Benacre and Walberswick national nature reserves and Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Cley Marshes, as well as lesser known sites that hosted difficult-to-get species and which were kept secret from the opposing team. The aim was to see or hear more species of bird than the opponents in a 24-hour period.

    With mass media attention and big-business sponsorship, the madcap marathons raised thousands of pounds for nature conservation causes – and the re-creation that will take place in May will hopefully do the same, albeit with a distinctly more environmentally friendly twist. A World Land Trust team will be competing against a Big Bird Race Challenge foursome, hoping to raise £15,000 for a conservation project in Bolivia to help the critically endangered blue-throated macaw, whose total population is thought to be down to about 250 birds.

  • David Attenborough attacks plan for Borneo bridge

    The Guardian
    2 March, 2017

    David Attenborough and Steve Backshall have joined conservationists and charities asking the Borneo government to reconsider a bridge that threatens one of the last sanctuaries of the rare pygmy elephant.

    There are now just 1,500 of the world’s smallest pachyderm, according to WWF, and about 300 of them make their home in the 26,000-hectare Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, in the state of Sabah in Malaysian Borneo. But construction teams have begun preparatory work for a bridge that will cross the Kinabatangan river which weaves through the region. The area is also home to critically endangered orangutans, proboscis monkeys, clouded leopards, gibbons, sun bears, pangolins and thousands of other jungle species, and hosts a thriving eco-tourism industry where travellers can view wildlife from boats on the river or while hiking into the forests.

    Attenborough, known globally for his wildlife documentaries and conservation work, rarely intervenes in domestic planning issues. But he has written to the chief minister of the region, arguing that the plan will harm already embattled wildlife populations and create a new barrier for migrating Bornean elephants. Listed as endangered by the IUCN, they require large areas of habitat for foraging and many fear that the increasingly fragmented populations will lead to genetic problems.

    “I have had many encounters with the magnificent and unique species with which your state is blessed,” Attenborough wrote. “If this construction is allowed to go ahead, I am left in no doubt that the bridge will have significant negative effects on the region’s wildlife, the Kinabatangan’s thriving tourism industry and on the image of Sabah as a whole.”

  • Sir David Attenborough stars in new music video to save planet Earth

    Daily Express
    28 February, 2017

    The 90 year old iconic broadcaster's wise words can be heard in an epic soundtrack about fighting for vanishing wildlife and landscapes.

    Television's most recognisable dulcet tones were famously added to the opening scenes of Adele's Hello video when Sir David appeared on a BBC Radio 1 show in November 2015, but now he has a starring role to campaign about his favourite issue: saving the planet.

    Sir David features in the opening scenes of composer Sarah Class' upcoming single 'I Will Fight' to promote the work of the World Land Trust.

  • Steve Backshall and Helen Glover to take part in Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race

    Wiltshire Times
    28 February, 2017

    Wildlife TV presenter Steve Backshall and his wife, Olympic champion rower Helen Glover, are to kayak 125 miles non-stop from Devizes to the Houses of Parliament at Westminster in the classic DW race this Easter.

    Backshall is a World Land Trust patron and they are racing to raise funds to protect a section of rainforest in Malaysian Borneo, saving it from being cut down to make way for oil palm plantations.

    By doing this they hope to safeguard a wealth of threatened wildlife found there, such as proboscis monkey, Bornean pygmy elephant, the Bornean orang-utan and sunda pangolin, the latter both classified as critically endangered.

  • Brazilian forest area has been saved to celebrate the Rio Olympics

    Discover Wildlife
    25 August, 2016

    A tract of Atlantic Forest near Rio de Janeiro has been rescued and renamed the Olympic Forest Reserve to commemorate Great Britain’s most successful Olympics yet.

    The world’s attention has been focused on Rio during the 2016 Olympic Games, but although many of Britain’s athletes have now returned to UK shores, their success at the Olympics leaves behind an important legacy. 

    Thanks to the World Land Trust’s (WLT) Olympic Forest Appeal, 221 acres of Atlantic Forest has been saved from deforestation, safeguarding the forest's rich array of flora and fauna, which boasts a greater biodiversity than even the Amazon Rainforest.

  • The Cerro Blanco Protected Forest recovering after 2 decades
    8 August, 2016

    In 1992 the Cerro Blanco Protected Forest just had an area of ​​2,000 hectares. Of that, 638 were transformed into pastures, due to logging and forest fires.

    Eric Horstman, Director of Fundacion Pro-Bosque notes that after 24 years the ecosystem recovered. Currently has 6,078 ha, of which 50 would be missing work How did? The team of the Pro-Forest Foundation, through the Forest Restoration Program planted 423,500 trees. This was carried out between 2008 and 2010...

    ..."In 1992 there were no trees, but the woods today have 1,000 of them per hectare, ie, more than 600,000 plants." He says reforestation crystallized with the contribution of $ 350,000 from the environmental organization in UK, World Land Trust; and $ 250,000 awarded by an Ecuadorian company.

  • The Body Shop launches bio-bridge project in Vietnam

    Saigon Times
    28 July, 2016

    UK-based cosmetics and skincare brand The Body Shop has launched the project ‘Help Reggie find love” to raise funds for the first bio-bridge project at Khe Nuoc Trong in the central coast province of Quang Binh...

    ...Together with the World Land Trust, The Body Shop is aiming to restore 75 million square meters of forest bio-bridges by 2020.

  • Children raise money for two charities

    Isle of Man Today
    26 July, 2016

    Children at Michael School have been raising money to save the rainforest and to fight cancer.

    The children in Gorse class raised £700 for the World Land Trust which enabled them to sponsor seven acres of rainforest in Ecuador and receive a certicate.

    The youngsters raised the cash by doing a sponsored walk. They walked five laps of the school field each day for a week and also held a cake sale.

  • Simon Barnes: Off my head on beauty

    The Times
    17 July, 2016

    At the bottom of the Cascade in Yerevan, Armenia, all 572 steps of it, there is a generous square — oblong, rather — crowded with funky sculptures and lined with cafes. At one of the tables, five glasses: two of red wine, two of beer, one of Coke. Emptying them were Ruben, Manuk and Eva from the Armenian NGO the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FWPC), John from the British-based World Land Trust, and me. We were all off our heads. Not from the drink, but the beauty...

  • Cycling school teacher in 240 mile charity challenge

    Somerset Live
    13 July, 2016

    An energetic teacher from Clutton Primary School is cycling 240 miles in just 36 hours to help children raise vital funds to protect the rainforest.

    Russell Tanner, 52, is cycling from Clutton to Suffolk to deliver a cheque for at least £1,500 to World Land Trust, a conservation charity that works to save rainforest and other wildlife habitats...


  • Teaming up with the World Land Trust

    Oak Furniture UK
    3 June, 2016

    Here at Oak Furniture UK we have teamed up with the fantastic World Land Trust, enabling us to work together by giving back to the environment. We believe it’s so important to give something back to the environment, and this campaign is the perfect way to do so. Working alongside such a fantastic charity has enabled us to develop our knowledge, build strong relationships and help the environment as much as we possibly can.

  • How The Body Shop is using 'monkey dating' to tackle deforestation
    26 May, 2016

    The Body Shop has today (24 May) officially launched its new Bio-Bridges programme, which aims to regenerate and reconnect 75 million square metres of damaged forests, as part of the beauty products retailer's ambitious new CSR strategy.

    Working in collaboration with the World Land Trust, The Body Shop will establish the first Bio-Bridge in the Khe Nuoc Trong forest in Vietnam, as a way of restoring wildlife corridors that help endangered species reconnect, enabling them and local communities to thrive.


  • Introducing the body shop’s bio-bridges: a dating service for endangered species to find love

    NC Online News
    26 May, 2016

    “Help Reggie Find Love“

    Bio-Bridges are restored wildlife corridors within damaged landscapes that help endangered species reconnect, enabling them and local communities to thrive...

    ...In this first project, The Body Shop is working with World Land Trust and its partner, Vietnam-based Viet Nature Conservation Centre, to protect the area and its wildlife through regular patrolling and utilising camera-traps. Viet Nature also works closely with the local community to encourage sustainable forest resource use and farming and with schools to encourage involvement.

  • Customer purchases to help fund Body Shop bio-bridges programme

    UK Fundraising
    26 May, 2016

    The Body Shop has partnered with World Land Trust in its new Bio-Bridges programme, which aims to regenerate and protect 75 million square metres of forest, funded by customer transactions.

    The Bio-Bridges programme will create protected areas of forest, regenerating and reconnecting corridors between healthy rainforest, and linking isolated and endangered animals and plant species.

    To fund the work, The Body Shop is launching an in-store and online campaign, ‘Help Reggie Find Love’, featuring Reggie, a Red-Shanked Douc from Vietnam that will raise awareness and see customers directly support the project with every customer transaction restoring and protecting one square metre of habitat in the forest.

  • Body Shop 'bio-bridges' to regenerate forests and connect wildlife habitats

    The Guardian
    24 May, 2016

    Programme in partnership with World Land Trust will create corridors of natural habitat to prevent threatened species from being cut off from each other.

    A programme to regenerate thousands of acres of forest and link habitats in wildlife-rich parts of the world has been launched.

    The “bio-bridges” scheme, which creates corridors of natural habitat to prevent threatened wildlife populations being cut off from each other, is being run by the Body Shop in partnership with the World Land Trust.

    Read the full article here »


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