How do you educate local communities about the importance of conserving these lands?
Local communities are usually the first to be aware of the importance of conserving their land as it is crucial for their livelihoods, such as through providing water and other resources, however they often lack alternatives and may sell or unsustainably use their land. WLT’s partners always work closely with local communities to ensure that conservation initiatives also provide benefits for these stakeholders.
Have you seen encouraging results already?
I have seen many positive results of WLT’s work, from the wildlife rich forests in Belize that stand in stark contrast to deforested land adjoining these reserves, to the restoration and reforestation of bare pasture to forested land in Brazil and Kenya.
I have also just visited Northeast India to see a long-term project that WLT has been supporting through our local partner, the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), and where engaging with local tribal communities is crucial for securing land for conservation. In this project local communities are now voluntarily placing their land into village forest reserves because of the trust and relationship between these communities and WTI.
How can people get involved?
The Buy An Acre programme is an easy way for people to support real conservation work with WLT, and for £100 we will be able to purchase and safeguard one acre of land. There are also many other options to support WLT’s conservation work, such as funding our partner’s rangers, supporting tree planting and forest restoration, or through offsetting your carbon footprint through WLT’s project.