Hundreds of World Land Trust (WLT) supporters donated to the Buy an Acre appeal in response to a new opportunity to purchase and protect 1,818 acres of threatened jungle in Belize at £100 an acre arose.
The generosity of WLT supporters means that our partner, the Corozal Sustainable Future Initiative (CSFI), are now able to secure this land for conservation which will see an additional 1,818 acres added to the reserve donors to the Jungle for Jaguars appeal created last year.
This purchase connects the Jungle for Jaguars land with another one of CSFI’s reserves, Shipstern, and adds to a vital wildlife corridor of 88,500 acres. It also borders Belize’s largest inland lagoon, Shipstern Lagoon, and shelters this rich aquatic habitat for many species of birds, invertebrates and fish.
The history of Buy an Acre
In 1989, WLT was launched as Programme for Belize to ‘Buy an Acre’, at a time when £25 would buy and protect one acre. Working primarily with Massachusetts Audubon Society and The Nature Conservancy in the USA, funds were raised to save 110,000 acres of forest that was about to be logged.
“30 years on, we are still buying acres,” says John Burton, WLT Chief Executive. “But the cost has risen, in some places dramatically. In Borneo, for instance, forest with the potential for oil palm can reach £10,000 an acre.
“Some of our partners, however, work in countries where land can still be bought for £100 an acre. This enables us to save irreplaceable habitats to create strictly protected reserves, protected in perpetuity by our partners, relatively cheaply.
“Every donation to Buy an Acre helps save a whole ecosystem, not just big charismatic mammals like Jaguars, but the less ‘glamorous’ and equally important species of reptiles, insects and fungi as well. Even though the price of paradise has inevitably risen over the years, the Buy an Acre programme remains as important as ever, and I believe it is one of the best ways to demonstrate that your donations to WLT save real acres in real places.
“In my thirty years with WLT I have yet to come across a more effective model for conserving wildlife. Thank you for your support, which makes it possible.”