We have some very exciting news for all our supporters. Fuelled by a raft of spectacular conservation wins over the past 12 months, the habitats directly saved by World Land Trust (WLT) supporters have now reached a collective area of 2,222,247 acres!
As we celebrate in our new video (see below), the news that we have saved this astonishing acreage together – the size of Cyprus – caps off a phenomenal 2020 for WLT. This year is on track to break our annual fundraising record and it’s all thanks to supporters like you, who took decisive action and delivered the conservation victories you can find out more about in the video.
While impressive, the 2,222,247-acre figure is only part of the story. Because your direct support allows our partners to secure funds from other sources, your donations have leveraged the protection of a further 2.9 million acres across the globe – 5,100,000+ acres all in all saved from destruction since our foundation in 1989, safeguarded by supporters like you.
The scale and importance of this achievement is difficult to overstate. A Wales-sized area of the Earth’s surface – a selection of our richest and most biodiverse ecosystems and home to countless thousands of endangered species – has now been afforded the safety it so desperately deserves.
For WLT and our partners, the fact that so many of you have stood by nature’s side despite the year’s difficulties is truly humbling. Every single reserve that we support is part of humanity’s shared natural heritage, which can flourish only when we act together. ‘No man is an island’, said John Donne, and nor is any ecosystem.
From Cameroon’s great ape refuges to the Chocó Forest of Ecuador and Colombia’s Barbacoas, a host of precious ecosystems now have a far brighter future at the end of 2020 than they did at the year’s beginning. The year has also left behind a wave of scientific discoveries in WLT-backed reserves, including an entirely new mammal genus in Ecuador. We have seen news of local communities whose lives will improve as a result of the action of WLT partners, such as the indigenous Chachi people now set to embrace – with help from Fundación Jocotoco – livelihoods that work with their forest home.
This year alone, more than 64,000 acres have been brought under protection across all our programmes, including 885 through Buy an Acre. Funding was also provided this year for 44 rangers, the Keepers of the Wild who play such a critical role on the frontlines of conservation.
Meanwhile, the businesses and individuals protecting “carbon sink” habitats through our Carbon Balanced programme have offset an astounding 43,773.78 tCO2e of emissions in 2020 – equal to taking 20,754 average cars off the UK’s roads for a year.
Behind all these figures lies the impact of every single one of you. Whether it’s a regular £5 donation from a WLT Friend or the simple act of planting a tree – 112,756 saplings have been placed into the ground this year – it is through these small yet revolutionary decisions that you have joined countless others to create truly momentous change.
You’ve shown this year that nature need not stand alone in its time of need. You’ve shown that conservation is a cause to be championed for now and forever.
This week, to celebrate your hugely positive show of support, we’ll be showcasing the highlights of the last 12 months on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn channels in a series we’re calling #YourConservationWins2020. Make sure to check in with us and find out just how much of an impact your donations have made.
In the meantime, why not embark upon a virtual journey with us? Our end-of-year review video offers you the chance to see the wildlife and wild places that have been brought under our partners’ protection over the last year. Gorillas, manatees, jaguars, hummingbirds and salamanders; wetlands, rainforests, savannas; all now have a brighter future, thanks to you.
The conservation wins of 2020 are now behind us, but our work cannot stop here. The new year will bring new challenges, new opportunities to make a difference for nature – saving new wild places, protecting existing reserves from new threats. We know that more victories are on the horizon, but they can only be achieved with your support.
Join us and become nature’s guardian in 2021 – donate to our Action Fund today!