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By saving acres with WLT you will be taking direct action to save tropical forests and other important wildlife areas, by funding the purchase of threatened habitats. The acres you buy are protected as nature reserves, owned and managed by local organisations. See the How we work page for more details on how the Trust operates.
When we started the Programme for Belize, we were the only organisation in Britain ‘buying’ rainforest. Because of the success of this way of saving rainforest and other habitats, several other organisations have now adopted this as a method of fundraising. Most of them are doing a great job, and we really do welcome their involvement – there is a lot of rainforest and other habitats that need saving and the more people doing it the better. However, because it has been successful there are also some organisations that have seen it as ‘bandwagon’ and an easy way to raise funds. Before making any charitable donation you should check the charity thoroughly – look at its annual report and accounts, see who the staff are, what their experience is, see who the Trustees are, and what they know about conservation – all fairly obvious and easy to do.
These are some of the ways in which WLT differs from other conservation organisations:
“WLT doesn’t own a square inch of land overseas. Rather, it has consistently supported partner organisations in other countries […]. As a result, 350,000 acres of land overseas are managed for conservation by organisations in the appropriate country.”
Simon Barnes, from “Saved: the wildest place on earth“, The Times, 18 June 2008
- Track record of achievements
- Implementation of projects is by local people working for local organisations
- High level of expertise among all staff and trustees
- Habitats are purchased for permanent protection – not limited sponsorship
- Have been operating since 1989, saving existing, mature forests
- Transparent about expenditure and who is involved in the Trust
- You can earmark donations for specific projects
There are very good websites, already used by many WLT supporters, which allow you to set up your own fundraising campaign: Justgiving.com and VirginMoneyGiving. You can use them to ask friends to make donations instead of wedding gifts, sponsor you in a marathon, or support any other fundraising ideas you have. The sites are easy to use – so why not give them a go?
For more details about fundraising for WLT you can also contact WLT.
WLT has never run a membership scheme – concentrating instead on encouraging donors to make regular donations. Membership administration can be time-consuming and costly and WLT aims to keep its overheads to a minimum. However, WLT does have a loyal band of WLT Friends who are committed to WLT’s objectives and this is not dissimilar to a membership. WLT Friends pledge a monthly donation of £5 or more via Direct Debit, helping us plan vital land purchases, knowing that they have pledged their donation in advance. WLT Friends are the backbone of World Land Trust and their commitment and support acts to influence other individual and corporate supporters when choosing to support us.
The acres of threatened habitat we ‘sell’ are real acres in real places, but you do not actually own them. The land is always owned and managed by WLT’s Local Partners in the countries where we operate.
The price of £100 an acre is an average. We have worked out, what we consider to be a fair average, taking into account the costs of actual purchase (legal fees, taxes etc).
2. How can I be sure that land I have helped protect will remain safe from threats such as mining or agriculture?
This is a difficult question to answer, as it depends entirely on the country involved, and its system of land protection.
What we can say is that every reserve that our donors have ever helped fund still exists, is not threatened by agriculture, and many have received protection by state legislation. We work with a network of local partners who are experts on land conservation in their countries who advise on the best form of protection in local regions considering the threats faced.
However, in some countries, mining and oil exploration will always be a potential issue, since in many places underground resources are owned by the state. This can be mitigated by carrying out due diligence, and ensuring that good relations are maintained with relevant government authorities, which our partners excel at.
You can specify in which project area you would like to save acres and you can certainly visit the area you have helped save, though we do not identify individual acres. As projects get established, basic field stations are built to enable small groups to visit. See Visit WLT’s Conservation Projects for more information.
Land prices vary by location. A donation of £100 will save one acre on average in many of our project areas. Please see our Buy an Acre appeal page for more details about locations. Donations to the Buy an Acre Fund will be used in the project area where it is most urgently needed among the projects where £100 saves an acre.
In some project areas such as Malaysian Borneo, India and Kenya land prices are much more expensive and variable, and we are therefore unable to specify in advance how many acres your donation will buy. However, rest assured that your donation to these projects will be used for land purchase and protection and nothing else.
The price of £100 an acre is an average. This is because not only do land values vary geographically, but they also vary locally. Access to roads, whether or not there is forest, or if they have been cleared for cattle ranching all affect the price. So we have worked out, what we consider to be a fair average, taking into account the costs of actual purchase (legal fees, taxes etc) but not including long-term management and protection. In some parts of South America our partners are able to buy land very cheaply, and it is in those projects area where we offer our supporters the chance to save an acre for £100.
It is a complex issue, and for donors making large donations we are always happy to discuss an individual project and what the exact costs are. But rest assured, donors ‘buying’ half an acre, one acre or five acres: £100 really does, on average, save an acre.
In other parts of the world, land is very much more expensive and land prices vary enormously, which means that for our projects in those areas we are unable to specify in advance how many acres your donation will save.
How much land your donation will save depends on the project area. In some parts of South America our partners are able to buy land very cheaply. In other parts of the world, land is very much more expensive and land prices vary enormously. For donations to these areas we don’t always know in advance how many acres your donation will be able to buy. What we can guarantee, is that your donation will be used for land purchase and protection and nothing else. Your donation is saving real acres in real places, permanently – it is not a limited sponsorship or ‘adoption’ of a piece of land sold over and over again.
WLT is completely open about its finances and unlike many other charities, publishes summaries of its finances on its website, so you can see where your money actually goes. See our financial page for more information. You can also see what donations are spent on by visiting the reserves saved by World Land Trust and its partners. Other information is published in our Annual Review and Accounts, WLT News, and eBulletins.
Some other websites include links to the WLT in return for a small commission on any donations resulting from clicks on those links. These links help WLT reach a wider audience in a cost-effective way. Commissions are paid out of the WLT’s general funds and not out of the funds restricted to land purchase projects, so you can rest assured that however you found WLT, your donation will be used for our conservation projects and nothing else.
This question addresses two important points. First, World Land Trust itself owns no land outside the UK, and has a strict policy that includes local people in all its projects. Before a project is initiated WLT identifies a local partner organisation with whom a Memorandum of Understanding is signed and a work programme agreed. Ownership of the land purchased is with this partner organisation, not WLT.
WLT is responsible for fundraising and overseeing the project in the early stages and the local organisation works with the local community to achieve the conservation goals. Support from local government is also a top priority. Local people are employed as park wardens and, when possible, local scientists are used to carry out research at the project sites; also volunteers from nearby towns and universities are invited to take part in projects to conserve their native land and wildlife.
Secondly, why buy the land? There is much debate about the ‘correct’ way to conserve land, and we do recognise that land purchase is only one of the several methods that can ensure the survival of threatened habitats. However, WLT feels that ownership of land gives a great deal more control over its future than other forms of protection, and, once purchased, the land belongs to the local organisations who take over the responsibility for its protection. See Land Purchase as a Tool for Conservation for more details on our land purchase policy.
A management plan is developed by WLT and its local partner, aimed at securing legal protection for the land. Each project, because of its urgency and degree of threat, comes with a different set of problems, and so the solutions for each will differ, but long term conservation of the land and its wildlife is always the key objective.
In addition to land protection, WLT also helps develop forms of sustainable and environmentally friendly income activities for the local community. This might be ecotourism, crafts or sustainable forestry on the land, with a view to assisting the project to become an independent entity and not reliant on further funds from the Trust. After this, the project continues to be managed by the local partner, leaving WLT to fundraise to save more threatened land elsewhere.
3. How can you ensure that the land is adequately protected and not used and/or destroyed by people after it has been purchased?
Unfortunately there is no single answer to this question. As mentioned above, because each project presents its unique problems we need to find different ways of ensuring protection. The essential element of all our operations is that we work with local people, and enthuse them about ‘their’ habitats and ‘their’ wildlife.
By involving local conservationists and local communities we reduce the risks of encroachment considerably; they know the local situation and can head off any potential conflicts. If there is occasional incursion into the forests this is quickly dealt with by park wardens who are familiar with the borders.
We believe that maintaining an active and visible presence, through wardens and researchers, and providing jobs for local people, is an effective method to ensure long-term security. And of course, the purchase of the land ensures that our local partners have clear title to the land, so that any encroachment would be illegal.
Britain has an extensive network of protected areas, and the costs of acquisition of new ones are very high. There are also already in existence numerous organisations devoted to conserving land in Britain. It is worth noting that a new 15,000-acre reserve in Britain could cost between £6 and £60 million while WLT funded the purchase of a similar sized ranch in Patagonia for £250,000. WLT does have one small UK reserve at Kites Hill, but this was generously gifted to us and did not involve purchase costs.
5. Why do the land sizes claimed to have been saved by Rainforest Trust and other NGOs differ so greatly from the WLT?
It all depends on what is meant by saved. In the WLT we only mention the lands we have been directly involved with, and normally only lands that have actually been purchased. Other organisations use different measurements, and may include the whole area under consideration. It would be perfectly legitimate for us to claim that we have helped save two areas of 100,000 acres each, when we purchase a corridor of say 10,000 acres. We could justifiably claim that we have helped save 210,000 acres for wildlife. But we don’t. Every land purchase is different, and sometimes long leases are also involved. So the only way of answering the question is really on an individual basis. The same applies to the huge variations in land prices.
6. Why does WLT raise funds to purchase land inside areas designated as reserves? Surely land inside a reserve is already protected?
In many countries including the UK, the fact that land is designated as a protected area and governed by the state does not necessarily mean that it is being managed for conservation. Biosphere reserves, national parks and protected areas will usually include some element of privately owned land – as is the case with national parks in Britain. Funding for national parks is often inadequate and those living within parks or within a park’s sphere of influence may not be provided with alternative sources of income or other motivations to be stewards of the land. If resources are not mobilised for effective management, protected areas can be little more than “paper parks” and serve little or no conservation function. Therefore, when WLT puts funds towards purchasing land within a reserve, it is because the property being purchased will only be fully protected for conservation if the land is owned by a local conservation organisation.
This is largely opportunistic. Through research and contacts throughout the world, the Trust learns when land becomes available which is in direct threat of habitat destruction. For example, when WLT Honorary President, Jerry Bertrand, was leading an eco-tour through Patagonia, he discovered that there were vast stretches of coastline, relatively untouched and rich in wildlife in Patagonia. He also witnessed firsthand the demise of much of the coastal steppe for unsympathetic development, as land became available due to the crash in the price of wool on the world market. Patagonia’s coastline and steppe are extraordinarily rich in wildlife and this was clearly an emergency that needed to be addressed.
Every potential project which comes to WLT (and there are up to 20 in any year) is put through an evaluation process, based on a set of project selection criteria agreed by WLT Trustees, including the biodiversity value, the level of threat, and possible risks associated. The evaluation ensures that the land being purchased is of high conservation value and that it is appropriate for WLT to become involved.
Yes, always. World Land Trust is a member of IUCN – the World Conservation Union, and all its projects are carried out with local non-government organisations (NGOs). World Land Trust has an extensive network and is able to establish new partnerships almost anywhere in the world. We have also been helped by British companies assisting with study tours for our overseas project partners.
In many parts of the world, governments simply do not have the funds to adequately protect the land they already own. Many developing countries are heavily in debt to the developed world, and we all share a responsibility for ensuring that the world’s wildlife survives into the future. Wherever possible we try to ensure that we have the support of the local government and we are working particularly closely with the government of Paraguay.
In January 1989, the Massachusetts Audubon Society made a grant of US$10,000 (approx. £6,670) to John Burton to set up an office in the UK, for the sole purpose of raising funds for a brand new project concept: Programme for Belize. The target was to double the original US$10,000 by the end of the year, but by the time of the official launch, in May, when the late Gerald Durrell, and his wife, Lee, came over from Jersey to officiate, £25,000 had already been raised. The charity was formed and subsequently became World Land Trust.
5. How come your office is in Halesworth, if you are an international organisation? Why aren’t you based in London?
With modern communications the location of an office is relatively unimportant. Phone, fax and email mean that we can be in contact with our partners in Patagonia or Philippines or anywhere else in the world, just as easily from rural Suffolk as London.
WLT finds that there are considerable advantages to its rural location, mainly in that running costs of an office are dramatically less in Suffolk. Staff salaries are also lower, due to the relative cost of living, but quality of life is much better. The extra costs of regular visits (by train) to London for meetings, is easily offset by the reduction in other costs.
Finally, we are based in an area with lots of nature reserves, where we can actually see and appreciate the wildlife we all consider so important to save.
The WLT is a relatively small organisation, and our staff turnover is extremely low. Jobs at WLT’s office in Suffolk, UK are posted on our vacancies page.
From time to time our overseas conservation partners recruit internationally. Details of paid positions, that are relevant to international applicants, with partner organisations will be detailed in the news pages of WLT website.
World Land Trust does not run general volunteer programmes at our project areas, although we do encourage our supporters to visit our partners’ projects and to offer voluntary assistance. If the organisation runs a volunteering programme we suggest applying to them directly (contact details for all our project partners are on our website).
Very occasionally, World Land Trust is asked by one of its project partners to recruit an international volunteer, to acquire a specialist skill not available locally. These skills have been very varied – from drainage engineers, skilled builders, and marketing experts. These opportunities will be advertised on our vacancies page as and when they arise.
World Land Trust does not currently have programmes for gap year students.
Biologists and field conservationists are a relatively small part of a conservation organisation, so unless you have a degree in these fields, it may be more useful to look at the range of roles required by a conservation organisation. Experience in any of the following is likely to be useful: accounting, fundraising, database management, web design, IT, editing and copywriting, education and project management. Having an active interest in wildlife is always an advantage if applying for a job in conservation so volunteering at your local nature reserve is likely to stand you in good stead. If you have not worked in conservation before, look at our information page on How to apply for Conservation jobs.
World Land Trust does not give grants to individuals, and does not support expeditions. Grants are normally only made to NGOs with a good track record of land management. Before applying to the WLT it is essential to have read the Projects Criteria.
Sir David asks us to remind enquirers that he is in his 90s and is not taking on new commitments. He is still heavily involved in filming and is booked up many months in advance so is generally unable to accept invitations to speak at events and conferences. Also please note that Sir David is unable to endorse products, read manuscripts, accept invitations to write forewords in books or attend book launches. As you may expect, he is bombarded with requests and consequently, we are reluctant to pass on letters. If you really believe your wish to contact him is important you can write to him c/o WLT and we will forward the letter. (Please note that we can only forward actual letters, not emails, and we cannot guarantee a response.)
WLT can usually supply a representative to speak at a public or private event if travel expenses are reimbursed (and very occasionally, when they are not). Speakers are usually staff members, but from time to time we do have interns and other volunteers who are prepared to give talks. Please bear in mind the costs of travel from East Suffolk, and also the time involved.
Air travel is an unavoidable activity because the global reach of WLT’s work means that staff are required to visit projects in order to monitor them. However, the scale of WLT’s impact in terms of emissions sequestered through habitat preservation far outweighs the emissions produced from carrying out its work. Furthermore, all WLT funds are spent on conservation so if we offset the flights we would have to take money earmarked for one conservation activity and transfer it to another. That seems self-defeating, so we do not do it.
World Land Trust is focused on practical action to conserve habitats on as large a scale as possible. It is not a campaigning organisation, but we do recognise many of our supporters do wish to be better informed or become involved in other conservation activities.
We are developing a page of useful links to direct supporters to suitable websites
World Land Trust (WLT) works with its in-country conservation partners to protect biologically significant areas of land. Sites are selected based on how rich they are in biodiversity and what benefits they can bring to local communities, always with a view to furthering our long-term conservation goals that focus on creating, connecting, expanding and enriching protected areas. While securing surviving areas of healthy natural habitat is vital, the prevalence of degraded habitat around the world makes habitat restoration an essential part of the work we do.
By restoring degraded habitats, we can improve their capacity to support life. Restoration can also reconnect isolated patches of existing habitat, strengthening the wider ecosystem and facilitating safe wildlife movement. The restoration work itself can provide employment for local communities, who also stand to benefit from ecosystem services (food, clean water, flood mitigation, etc.) when the trees mature. Reforestation is one of the main methods of restoration and WLT supports its partners throughout this process, from the planting and care of young trees through years of maintenance work until a new forest habitat is established.
Every year WLT funds restoration work in a variety of conservation projects, some of which are supported by WLT’s Plant a Tree programme. A £5 donation to this programme will plant and nurture one tree for the first two to three years of its life, funding also a replacement tree if the first should happen to die during this time.
All of WLT’s in-country partners and projects are unique; however, our reforestation projects adhere to the following general principles to ensure they are of a high standard. All projects must have clear conservation outcomes, for example – like reconnecting habitats and providing food for wildlife – while also providing benefits to local communities.
• The techniques used for reforestation must be those that are most appropriate for the project site. Both the reforestation site and the techniques are selected by WLT’s in-country partners, who have the local knowledge and expertise to lead the project in the field.
• Our partners ensure that they or a vetted expert contractor (where applicable) have the legal and management rights to restore these areas, ensuring also that there is free prior informed consent from local communities and appropriate authorities.
• Reforestation is primarily undertaken with a mixture of native species that are local to the area, although non-native species may be supported if there is a clear conservation objective. Some may be pioneer species that can colonise degraded areas and lay the foundation for native plants that are less hardy. Others can be used to establish woodlots (areas for local communities to harvest timber and other resources sustainably).
• Where possible, native species for planting are sourced locally to ensure trees come from the local genetic source and are adapted to the local environment. Otherwise, seeds or seedlings are purchased from a reputable source, particularly if overharvesting could damage the native forest.
• Reforestation projects may include active restoration – planting out tree saplings – as well as assisted natural regeneration, where our partners support and accelerate the natural successional processes by removing and reducing barriers to natural forest regeneration, such as soil degradation, competition with weed species, and recurring disturbance (e.g. fires or cattle grazing).
• Preparation of the site before planting may involve clearing ground vegetation, including cutting and, where strictly necessary, the controlled use of approved herbicides.
• Where required and deemed essential by the partner, natural fertilisers (e.g. compost/ manure) and approved chemical fertilisers are used to enhance the trees’ early growth and survival.
• WLT requests that partners avoid the use of natural fertilisers and growing mediums that contain peat, as peat extraction can be damaging to habitats like bogs, moors and fens, as well as a source of carbon emissions.
• Ongoing care of saplings is key in the first years after planting. Our partners will clear surrounding grasses and other competing vegetation to enhance tree survival rates, often employing local community members to assist in the work.
• Our partners monitor and report on the survival rate of planted trees for up to 5 years after tree planting has occurred and undertake replacement planting to ensure an overall high survival rate across the site.
• While our partners work hard to try to ensure a high survival rate of planted trees from pre-selected species at the reforestation site, our partners also encourage the colonisation of other native plants and trees from the surrounding area as natural processes take over and birds and mammals disperse seeds into the site.
• Partners continue to protect and monitor all planted areas until such time as the sites are established as areas of forest and can be incorporated into a partner reserve, or other type of protected area, to be protected in perpetuity.
The cost of planting a tree varies among WLT’s restoration projects due to varying local conditions and project costs of each area, including differences in site preparation, maintenance requirement, local labour costs and the scale of the project. For example, reforestation projects in dry environments typically require more stringent site preparation and ongoing care (e.g. increased watering) in order to be successful.
WLT takes account of these differences by using an average ‘per tree’ cost spread across all our restoration projects. A donation of £5 to WLT’s Plant a Tree programme will fund the planting and care of a tree through to its establishment as part of a wider forest within a protected area.
Project activities vary, but in general a donation to Plant a Tree will cover the following: seed/seedling/sapling collection; nursery costs; site preparation; planting and protection; replacement planting; tree monitoring and maintenance for the first two to three years and continued monitoring until the point at which the tree is established; operational costs and salaries for the project partner and local people; and WLT overheads (18%) and management costs.
Habitat restoration and Plant a Tree – FAQs
1) What does my £5 donation pay for?
2) How does WLT determine which reforestation projects to support?
3) What types of projects are WLT funding?
4) What types of forests are WLT restoring?
5) How does WLT select where to plant trees?
6) Are all the trees planted native?
7) Who monitors and maintains the trees after they are planted?
8) What does the monitoring and maintenance process involve?
9) What happens if a planted tree dies?
10) How does WLT ensure its projects are successful?
11) How does WLT determine when an area is restored?
12) Can I offset my carbon emissions by donating to Plant a Tree?
13) Can I volunteer to help plant trees in WLT projects?
1. What does my £5 donation pay for?
Reforestation activities vary between projects, but in general all projects cover the following:
• Cost of seed/seedling/sapling collection or purchase
• Nursery costs
• Plot preparation
• Planting and protection (usually salaries of local people or staff employed by partner)
• Replacement of a sapling if it dies within two years after it is planted
• Active tree monitoring and maintenance for the first two to three years and continued monitoring up to the point at which the tree is established
• Partner operational costs
• WLT’s programme costs and 18% overheads to oversee and monitor the project
2. How does WLT determine which reforestation projects to support?
As with all projects proposed to WLT, all new restoration proposals are reviewed by WLT’s Programmes team to assess the project’s suitability. WLT’s Conservation Advisory Panel, a group of independent conservation experts, will also make a recommendation based on the conservation merit of a potential project. WLT follows internal criteria (such as assessing the benefits the project will bring to wildlife and local communities) as well as standards around governance, accountability and finances.
3. What types of projects are WLT funding?
Each project is unique and provides benefits beyond tree-planting, for the wider environment, conservation of wildlife and local people. WLT’s various reforestation projects work to restore and improve habitat quality in order to reconnect forest patches, alongside engaging and supporting local communities in different ways, for example providing employment. To find out more about our current Plant a Tree projects, visit the programme webpage here.
4. What types of forest are WLT restoring?
Because our partners are based all around the world, WLT has funded restoration in a variety of different forest types, from the lush rainforests of Ecuador to the dry forests of Paraguay. To find out more about the forests supported by our current Plant a Tree projects, visit the programme webpage here.
5. How does WLT select where to plant trees?
WLT’s in-country partners are responsible for selecting sites suitable for tree-planting, based on their local knowledge and expertise. The selected sites will be areas of degraded habitat that cannot regenerate naturally and can be restored to a healthy natural state through reforestation, bringing benefits to biodiversity and local communities. Sites will often be selected strategically so the degraded habitat, once restored, will connect or reconnect isolated forest patches. Building this habitat connectivity into a landscape is important for species survival, as it facilitates safe wildlife movement and can help to preserve the genetic diversity of many species.
6. Are all the trees planted native?
Our partners select all tree species to be planted, usually collecting seeds from the local area and propagating them in nurseries. As our projects focus on restoring native forest habitats, in most cases all of the trees planted will be native to the country where the project is taking place. However, there are exceptions where the use of non-native species is agreed in advance with WLT, providing there is a clear requirement and conservation objective. For example, planting woodlots made up of fast-growing non-native species can provide food, timber and other resources for local communities, helping them to reduce their reliance on native forest habitat.
7. Who monitors and maintains the trees after they are planted?
Generally all reforestation work is carried out by our in-country partners, usually in collaboration with paid local community members. Most of our partners operate in areas of the Global South where job opportunities may be scarce or underpaid and people may live below the poverty line – in these areas, tree-planting and other activities, like seed collection and nursery work, provide an important source of income.
8. What does the monitoring and maintenance process involve?
Part of your £5 donation covers active monitoring and maintenance for your planted tree over the first two to three years of its life. This work is essential to the survival of the tree and varies between the different projects but it can include activities like watering, clearing vegetation from around the tree, installing tree guards or fencing and monitoring the survival rate of tees at the restoration site. Where possible, and provided it is appropriate for the project, our partners will also engage in assisted natural regeneration. This is maintenance specifically for trees that were already growing at the reforestation site prior to the start of the project. Assisted natural regeneration can play an important role in the recovery of degraded habitat to a healthy natural state.
9. What happens if a planted tree dies?
If the tree funded by your £5 donation dies within two years after it is planted, our partner will replace it with a new sapling. This is covered in the cost of your donation. Your donation may also cover the costs of further replacements, although this is rare and depends on the project. It should be noted that no tree-planting project will have a 100% survival rate – even with proper ongoing monitoring and maintenance, there will still be some level of natural mortality among the saplings. Provided there are no major obstacles, our partners’ monitoring and maintenance will ensure enough saplings survive to maturity to restore the full number of hectares outlined at the project’s start.
10. How does WLT ensure its projects are successful?
Many tree-planting projects fail because there is no maintenance and monitoring process in place to secure the long-term survival of the saplings. Although labour-intensive and time-consuming, all of WLT’s reforestation partners implement comprehensive maintenance and monitoring plans to help their saplings grow well until the point at which they are established. Our partners will continue to protect these areas by incorporating them into their own network of reserves or into other types of protected areas. WLT’s ongoing support to our partners for rangers and other conservation work then ensures these areas are protected in perpetuity.
11. How does WLT determine when an area is restored?
WLT supports our local partners to monitor and protect planted areas until the point at which the trees are established, with the trees forming a young forest that no longer requires active maintenance to survive. No tree-planting project will have a 100% survival rate, particularly in the early stages when saplings are not well established, but after at least two to three years of maintenance and monitoring most trees will be mature enough for natural mortality rates to be low. Some projects will carry out maintenance over a longer period where required.
12. Can I offset my carbon emissions by donating to Plant a Tree?
Well-managed reforestation projects provide a benefit to the climate through carbon sequestration: the process by which trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air and store it within their trunks, branches and roots. Although every tree you plant is helping to fight climate change, WLT does not currently offer carbon offsetting through the Plant a Tree programme. This is because carbon offsetting projects require stringent reporting and certification processes.
Following these processes for all WLT projects would be cost-prohibitive, meaning less money would go towards WLT partners, project activities, and local communities on the ground. However, such processes are essential to responsible and effective carbon offsetting, as it ensures the offsets sold provide the climate benefits advertised. Individuals and organisations can offset their carbon emissions through WLT’s Carbon Balanced programme.
13. Can I volunteer to help plant trees in WLT projects?
There is currently no volunteer reforestation scheme. The capacity of our partners varies widely and they are generally not able to accommodate volunteers. Currently all reforestation work is carried out by our in-country partners, usually in collaboration with paid local community members, for whom this work provides an important source of income.
Business specific FAQs
A carbon audit helps an organisation establish how much energy they are consuming, and therefore the carbon dioxide emissions they are responsible for. For the vast majority of businesses an assessment can be conducted simply by filling in your details in WLT’s Carbon Calculator, which aims to quantify how much electricity, gas and other fuels have been used and the distances travelled for business purposes by different types of transport. The most appropriate person to fill out this form will have access to utility bills as well as records of distances travelled by different forms of transport for business purposes. It is important to be as accurate as possible when filling out this form. Following the carbon audit a business should try to reduce its emissions as much as possible. Once energy reductions have been achieved the carbon audit should be re-calculated and the unavoidable emissions offset.
A standard carbon audit is free and will be overseen by the World Land Trust. The only investment that a business needs to make is in terms of time. It is important to be as accurate as possible when filling out the audit form and it is best to refer to utility bills, gas and electricity meters, details on other processes which contribute to carbon emissions (eg: printing), plus any transport or fleet operations. However, if the online audit is not suitable we can offer a bespoke carbon audit service, also free of charge.
Yes, calculating the carbon dioxide emissions associated with your business can highlight areas of the organisation where energy reductions can take place. The Carbon Reduction Programme (CRed) which is based in the top-rated School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia (UEA) offers a simple, six-step Business Standard audit designed to help businesses act to reduce energy use and carbon emissions. By improving energy efficiency a business is likely to see a reduction in energy use costs.
4. My company is looking for someone to come and do a survey of our office to see how we can make it more energy efficient. Is this something you’d be able to do?
WLT does not offer the sort of service you require. We always encourage organisations to reduce emissions at source first, before they offset, and for energy reduction advice we recommend the Carbon Reduction Programme (CRed). WLT have strong links with CRed which is associated with the University of East Anglia. It offers advice and help to both individuals and businesses on energy efficiency.
The audit form completion will require some investment of time, but WLT tries to make the process of Carbon Balancing as straightforward as possible. Whilst we will need certain information about your business, these details should be relatively easy to find for someone who deals with the day to day management of the company.
Organisations should visit our Carbon Calculator and submit the audit form to WLT online. The information required to fill out this form is based on the energy use of the organisation. For this reason, the most appropriate person to fill out this form will have access to utility bills as well as records of distances travelled by different forms of transport for business purposes. It is important to be as accurate as possible when filling out this form. WLT calculate the offset required and issue an audit report which details the offset size and cost. However, if the online audit is not suitable for your needs we can offer a bespoke carbon audit service.
The next step should be to reduce emissions at source as much as possible. Only once reduction has been achieved should offsetting be considered. Offsetting alone will not solve the global climate challenge but it can play an important role if used as part of a complete mitigation approach.
The carbon balanced audit is a free of charge service and can save an organisation money in the long run, by identifying areas where energy consumption can be reduced and efficiencies improved. WLT offsets restore and protect critically threatened habitat through the provision of carbon dioxide offsets. The cost of delivering an offset through forestry-based work varies widely depending on its location, the land price, the scale and work involved, and the strictness of the monitoring regime. WLT’s Carbon Balanced Programme began in 2005 and since then we have revised the price of the work as new projects have been developed, keeping the costs as low as possible, while giving the best conservation value. The price of £15 per tonne of CO2 enables us to assure the offset carbon and maximise the forest conservation value.
Unfortunately not. In response to increasing use of the term “carbon neutral” by businesses and other organisations, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) recently released a code of guidance on “carbon neutrality”. According to this document:
“Carbon neutral means that – through a transparent process of calculating emissions, reducing those emissions and offsetting residual emissions – net carbon emissions equal zero”
This three-step process is entirely consistent with the approach WLT has long been advocating. However, at the present time, this Government guidance only recognises carbon offsets from projects that have been fully certified and their offsets logged with an approved registry. While Carbon Balanced projects are designed to meet the demanding principles of the internationally recognised Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards (CCB), they have not been submitted for validation. As a result, WLT asks organisations to refrain from making claims of carbon neutrality in association with Carbon Balanced offsets.
10. Your website mentions that you carry out due diligence on an organisation wishing to offset. What does this mean?
As a charity WLT’s most valuable assets are its reputation and the loyalty of its supporters. WLT are very careful not to participate in any activity which might jeopardise these. When an organisation submits emissions data for a Carbon Balanced audit we carry out checks to make sure the company is one we would be happy to be associated with.
WLT issue an acknowledge letter and Carbon Balanced certificate once payment for the offset has been received. WLT newsletters are sent twice a year and employees can sign up for the WLT ebulletins. Organisations are allowed to use the Carbon Balanced logo on their website and in marketing materials and, at the company’s discretion, its details will be added to the Corporate Supporter section of our website. An annual Carbon Balanced activity report will be issued to each Carbon Balanced company at the beginning of each year.
We prefer to have flexibility in placing the Carbon Balanced funds so that we can direct the money according to the current priority project. However, after the allocation of funds has been made we can tell donors which project their money has gone towards.
Greenwash is a term that is widely used to describe a company or organisation whose marketing and PR suggests it follows positive environmental practices when it is really conducting business as usual.
Does World Land Trust have places available in events like the London Marathon?
Charity places in the London Marathon are very hard to obtain and if you would like to run for us, you will have to enter through the general ballot.
How should I collect money?
It really helps us if you can use our online fundraising facilities, but if you’d like a paper sponsorship form please contact [email protected]. We do ask our fundraisers not to collect funds through their own websites and third party bank/PayPal accounts.
Can you supply collection boxes?
Yes, we can supply collection boxes to individual fundraisers and corporate supporters. You will need to confirm in writing that you agree to our collection box policy, and in particular that
- The box will not be used for street or door-to-door fundraising.
- It will be kept secure.
- Funds will be passed to WLT quarterly (long-term fundraising) or promptly after the event (one-off events).
- Individuals requesting a box are aged 16 or over.
If you would like a box please contact us
When should I pass my funds to WLT?
By law, you must pass funds raised for World Land Trust to us within the timeframe we request, and we ask to receive funds within 6 weeks. If you have raised money using an online fundraising site, this is passed to us automatically.
Is my fundraising legal?
Please do contact WLT when you’re at the planning stage of your fundraising, as we will be able to advise you if there may be any problems. Here are some things to bear in mind:
- Collecting money door-to-door is illegal unless you have a licence, and we ask our supporters not to raise funds for us in this way. You also need a licence and permission from your local authority if you are planning to sell goods or collect money in a public place.
- If you are preparing food and drink for public consumption as part of an event, you are responsible under the Food Safety Act (1990) for making sure that everything supplied is deemed fit and safe. This covers food and drink sold or raffled for charity and supplied free to the public.
- Holding a raffle is fine if it’s part of a bigger event and there are no cash prizes, but other raffles may be unlawful.
Where can I find further guidance?
There’s lots of information on many aspects of fundraising for charity on the Institute of Fundraising’s website for fundraisers: www.how2fundraise.org.
How do I donate my Body Shop ‘Love Your Body’ Club, Birthday Vouchers and Reward Points?
World Land Trust (WLT) are one of The Body Shop’s nominated charities, members of their ‘Love Your Body’ Club can donate their shopping reward points and birthday vouchers to WLT.
More details on this great initiative by The Body Shop and full instructions on how to donate your reward points and birthday vouchers to WLT, can be found on The Body Shop website here.
If you have any other questions, we will do our best to answer them. Please contact us »