Monday, 11 June 2007

Cool Earth

I have been bombarded with supporters asking what Cool Earth is all about. When David Milliband and Frank Field announced this 'new idea' last year at the time of the Labour Party Conference, I wrote and told them the World Land Trust had been doing precisely what they were proposing for nearly 20 years.

Then with a great song and dance it was announced that this 'new initiative' was going ahead in the the Sun newspaper of 6 June. It's great that more people are following the WLT's model -- after 20 years of hard work, it is now becoming mainstream to conservation. Yet I recall a time when most of the big conservation charities would not lend their support -- that is why the WLT was formed. The WLT has always prided itself on its transparency, and clarity of its projects, as well as the science behind them. We also aim to be innovative, and were one of the first conservation charities to fully utilise the Internet for fund raising and the first to become involved with carbon sequestration. With everyone jumping on the carbon bandwagon, the Trust will continue to maintain its integrity, and put biodiversity first.

So to all those that ask, we did know about Cool Earth, and the founders were aware of the World Land Trust (they must have been, because if you type into Google buy an acre of rainforest, guess which organisation comes up top). Why they felt it necessary to found another organisation, only they can answer. I sincerely hope that they live up to their promises, but until their accounts are published there is no way of telling. I suppose I always have an inherent distrust of anything hyped by governments, and a launch on a grand scale makes one wonder where all the funds are going. But we should give any initiative like this the benefit of the doubt. But as I always advise any donor to any charity, it is essential you look at the accounts and the track record before committing funds.


  1. This really upset me! To pretend to have come up with a brilliant new idea, which has actually been done for years by WLT!

    If it works, fine, the more rainforest saved the better, but as you point out, why the need for a new charity? And will they live up to their promises? I for one will continue to save an acre of rainforest with WLT, which has a proven track record! (That Sir DAvid Attenborough supports the new initiative is confusing to say the least, considering he has been a supporter of the World Lant Trust's rainforest conservation projects for so long.)

  2. Thanks, John. I am new to this subject and was surprised when I heard about Cool Earth - that it seemed to be a new idea and that nobody else was doing anything similar yet.

    I asked Cool Earth for some more clarification on precisely how donations were being used (I intended to donate) but got absolutely no response.

    I am very pleased to have discovered WLT and this is where I will be concentrating all my future efforts and recommendations. Big thanks for making this possible.