In May, Bruno Paladines, Program Coordinator for Nature & Culture International (NCI), visited World Land Trust’s offices in Halesworth. Here he describes his impressions of the Trust and its approach to conservation and communication.
The first positive impression I had of World Land Trust (WLT) was when I was taken on a tour of the office by Ruth Canning, WLT’s Conservation Programmes Manager (Americas Region). The Trust’s office is in an old and cozy house, full of people busy doing their work. Most organisations I visit are in big cities, in modern buildings, but this was not the case for WLT and I very much enjoyed the atmosphere in Blyth House.
Later in the day, there was a second important moment. It came during a presentation which I made to WLT staff.
My presentation focused on the general aspects of NCI’s work in Southern Ecuador, rather than on joint WLT-NCI projects, but when I mentioned that our work is based on an ecosystem conservation approach – that is, to save as much land as possible through several strategies including activities with municipalities, communities, the state or with private conservation initiatives – I felt a connection with the people in the room.
I felt that we both, NCI and WLT, share the same conservation values.
This connection was confirmed after the presentation, when I briefly met Viv Burton, WLT’s Head of Communications. We were discussing the information and communication strategies that WLT uses to promote its work and to raise donations.
She told me that the Trust is keen to publicise activities that contribute to conservation and biodiversity and the well being of local people. She was particularly interested in projects that use local ecosystems in a sympathetic way: the Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens) project, for example, in which local communities sustainably harvest the seeds of this tree, and in return take care of the forest that freely provides the tree and its valuable oil.
I was impressed with the communications department and the way WLT manages it. It certainly gave me insights about how to improve communication activities back in our office! Viv invited me to send information and I plan to do so in the coming weeks. I now realise that a good supply of information will help the Trust find new donors and, hopefully, expand our joint projects.
I was also very touched by the interest WLT has in initiating activities in Peru, where NCI has been working on conservation projects for almost 10 years. In the coming weeks, we will send ideas for the Trust to explore. If the proposals meet WLT’s expectations I hope it will be possible to find donors to support them.
I am very grateful to all the WLT team for their generous and warm reception during my visit, especially Ruth who took time to introduce me to other staff and accompanied me during my time in Halesworth.
My best wishes to all of you and thank you for all the work and support you give to organisations like NCI and others around the world.
Bruno visited Halesworth on 8 – 9 May 2013
World Land Trust supports NCI’s conservation work through a number of different projects including