Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Buy More Land. Save More Rainforests

It is the begining of a New Year, (a happy New Year to all my readers), and a time for reflection on the past. Last year was a very successful year for the WLT. We raised more funds (thanks to you all) and helped our partners acquire some exciting new reserves. And 2007 could be even more exciting. We have already received a significant donation that will help buy a very important piece of rainforest in Argentina, and individual supporters are steadily increasing. It doesn't matter if a donation is £25 or £250,000, we have found that because the WLT produces tangible results, our supporters give according to their means. They don't feel that a £25 gift is meaningless, they know it makes a difference. And if they had got it, many of you have said you would give us £250,000; and some have. That is why I have high hopes for 2007.

Already donations are up on previous years', and we are planning to fund the acquisition of a large area of Atlantic rainforest in northern Argentina, more land in Brazil, even more in Paraguay. Dry chaco, humid chaco, pantanal, montane forests, Atlantic forest, elfin forests, are just a few of the habitats that the WLT is helping save.

Land prices have increased dramatically in the 17 years since the World Land Trust was founded, but because we are now helping such a wide range of projects, £25 is still a pretty good average. Some places it can be as little as $20 a hectare (£5.00 an acre, while others it is over $250 (£60.00 an acre). But the WLT is not looking at land in terms of a realisable future value -- we are concerned with its value for wildlife, and fortunately some of the really cheap land is also unbelievably important for wildlife.

So in 2007, please do keep the donations coming in, to quote Will Rogers (not Mark Twain as is often thought) "Buy land. God ain't makin' anymore of it".

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