Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Conservation network breeds success

Staging site


Sir David Attenborough with Lou Jost and picture of his tree

Sir David Attenborough, patron of World Land Trust (WLT), describes the importance of our growing network of conservation organisations working together to protect ecosystems across the planet

"My history with the World Land Trust goes back nearly two decades to when John Burton first told me about an innovative new project which was aiming to buy tropical forests to save them from being cleared in Belize.

"At that time he needed the support of as many environmentalists as possible in order to leverage a large start-up donation from now defunct Today newspaper. This he achieved, and in May 1989 Programme for Belize was born, later to become the World Land Trust.

Purchase acres of threatened tropical forest in Belize

World Land Trust (WLT) was founded in 1989 to raise funds to purchase acres of threatened tropical forest in Belize, Central America. Starting with just one project, the charity now has over 25 partners across the world working together to protect critically important ecosystems © David Tomlinson

"Over the years I have watched WLT develop from a single project operation to a strong force for conservation with a multitude of conservation projects all saving critically threatened habitats for their wildlife. The Programme for Belize model has been replicated in countries as far apart as India, Brazil, and Kenya, always working through local organisations.

"In 2008 I was able to meet two of those project partners. In January, it was a pleasure to join Lou Jost, from Fundación EcoMinga in Ecuador at the launch of the WLT’s Webcam in the Forest: live-streaming that shows remarkable wildlife in the forests of Buenaventura Reserve in Ecuador.

"In June, I visited a wonderful Rose Garden in Suffolk to hear more about the Gran Chaco of Paraguay from Alberto Yanosky of Guyra Paraguay. I last visited the Gran Chaco some 50 years ago and loved the place. It is encouraging to hear that some of it is now going to be protected by a shared agreement between the Government of Paraguay, Guyra Paraguay and WLT.

"In a world where wildlife is struggling to survive I take heart in the fact that WLT and their local partners never take their eye off the ball. They are going to save as much of the planet as they can and I am right behind them."

Find out more about WLT's partners »

(Extract from Patrons message, Annual Review and Accounts 2008, available from the WLT online or in hard copy.)

David Attenborough's signature

Sir David Attenborough, CH FRS


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