Wednesday, 29 October 2003

Visits from Belize and Bulgaria - and a visit to Patagonia

The next few weeks are going to be very busy at the World Land Trust. Our partners in Ecuador are negotiating yet more land purchases, and back here in the UK we are hosting Edilberto Romero, the Director of the Programme for Belize (PfB). PfB was the first project of the WLT, and paved the way for all our future activities. PfB is now a fully fledged NGO, with a staff of nearly 40, managing over 280,000 acres. Edilberto is over to meet with the staff and Trustees of the WLT, and also to visit other key organisations.

Overlapping with Edliberto Romero, the WLT is next week hoisting a delegation of senior park managers from Bulgaria. Funded by the USAID, the Bulgarians are visiting to study fundraising and the management of endowment funds for protected area, and they will gain valuable insights from their discussions with Edilberto Romero – PfB have been managing such funds and programmes for over 10 years now.

And as soon as that is over, I am going to Patagonia, for the first time in two years, for a Board meeting concerning the management of the Estancia La Esperanza. This project is desperately short of funds. – It costs less than $2000 a month to keep it going, but we also need about $100,000 to invest in the renovation of the buildings. Once renovated, the income derived from visitors staying there will help pay for the day top day running costs. Sponsors are urgently needed – it’s an ideal opportunity for businesses of almost any size. And even an individual could sponsor the running of the reserve for a month. And they can go and see for themselves how it is progressing. If you know of an individual or business that might consider helping please let me know.

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