World Rainforest Day: World Land Trust celebrates 30 years of action SEARCH NEWS

Rainforest tree, Kinabatangan floodplain, Malaysian Borneo. © Astrid Munoz

World Land Trust (WLT) was founded in 1989 to save critically threatened tropical forest in Belize. Donors were very generous in their support and today more than 260,000 acres of forest are safely in the hands of Programme for Belize.

From Belize WLT turned its attention to the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica and the tiny forested island of Danjugan in the Philippines. Again donors were magnificent and the land protection successful. WLT now works with 30 partners in 20 countries helping to conserve tropical forests and other critically threatened habitats.

Shortly after launching WLT we published the following quote, taken from Arnold Newman’s book Tropical Rainforests: “We are hopeful that in the future the 1990s will be referred to as the decade of scientific and environmental enlightenment; an age characterized by an aware public with the time, inclination and curiosity to demand a deeper understanding of themselves and their place in the universe.”

John Burton, WLT CEO, comments: “Thirty years on this book has proved to be one of the most important books published on tropical forests and their survival for the Third Millennium. While awareness hasn’t happened as quickly as we hoped, and rainforests continue to be devastated, there is at last a new surge of understanding of the role that tropical forests have to play in climate change mitigation which was little understood three decades ago”.

Red-eyed Tree Frog

Red-eyed Tree Frog (Agalychnis callydrias) photographed on the Sierra Santa Cruz reserve, protected by WLT partner, FUNDAECO in Guatemala. © Swallowtail Garden Seeds


Tropical rainforest is home to over fifty percent of the world’s animal and plant species and red eyed tree frogs have become a symbol for their protection. They spend their days on the underside of the leaves in the forest canopy which holds moisture and humidity underneath the leaves, making a perfect home for the rainforest red eyed tree frog.


WLT helps purchase and protect forests throughout the tropics working through overseas programme partners. Donors help us fund the purchase which is carried out by the local organisation and the ownership, with clear title deeds, is vested with them. WLT continues to support the partners with land protection through its Keepers of the Wild programme and also Plant a Tree which funds reforestation where land had been cleared prior to purchase.



The work undertaken by our partners is more essential today than ever before. Help us support land protection and save rainforests by donating to the World Land Trust Action Fund.


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