On 16 January 2020, the Governement of Belize signed the declaration of North-eastern Biological Corridor of Belize. It covers an area of nearly 70,000 acres and links the northernmost nature reserve in Belize with more central natural habitats.
It’s really important, because it’s the first step towards achieving a total North-South corridor crossing the whole country as the map shows!
It’s a tremendous example of public-private partnership: the government of Belize, local NGOs, private landowners and many international donors – including the World Land Trust – have been involved.
UNITED FOR CONSERVATION, WE CAN DO GREAT THINGS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR THE BETTER
The corridor connects a system of three protected areas in one system. Deforestation has caused the loss of over 25,000 acres of forest in tihe last 10 years.
This will now allow big animals such as jaguar and Baird’s Tapirs enough space to move freely between protected areas and so ensure their long term survival! It will also help build climate resilience into Belize’s network of protected areas.
Why was this acquisition necessary?
In Belize, about 50% of the country is under natural vegetation cover. About 35% of the country is under some form of protection.
So it is still possible to create biological corridors between protected areas.
It’s vital that these acquisitions take place, and speedily, because agricultural development are increasingly encroaching on forest.
How did supporters of the World Land Trust – people like you & me – help in this achievement?
The World Land Trust mobilised its supporters and inspired new ones to raise funds to support this land acquisition. It included 2018’s Big Match Fortnight Jungle for Jaguars campaign, and another Buy an Acre opportunity a few months after that. (The Big Match Fortnight normally comes in October when donations are matched for a specific appeal – it is incredible how much and how speedily this builds up.)
Donate in memory of someone special I donated to this campaign during the Big Match Fortnight (actually in memory of my wonderful Dad as his birthday is in November and I plant a tree or do a buy an acre on his birthday and at Christmas for him, as Dad loved trees).
Ask someone to donate as a gift for you I asked my husband to also donate as my early Christmas present and it was by far the best present I had. It really meant something to me. We had made a difference.
I cannot tell you the glow and warm feeling I have in my heart when I think of my jaguar roaming the biological corridor. I call him “my jaguar” – he obviously isn’t, and I’m never going to meet him – but it’s lovely to think that because I donated and my husband has too, we’ve helped him and lots of other animals.
Please do donate to the World Land Trust if you can, and keep an eye on their website. I often post news of their new appeals here, so you can watch this space as well. They are a wonderful charity and it’s good to give a meaningful gift which will last, so if you’re looking for a gift for a wildlife lover, making a donation could be a great way to do something to really make a difference – a win, win, win all round!
This was the You Tube Video for Jungle for Jaguars – it raised £532,000 in the Big Match Fortnight (normally early October) alone and hit the £600,000 target by Christmas, helping to save 8,154 vital acres. A further 1,818 acres were saved a few months later.
This includes of course people like you and me. We can all take action to do things such as planting a single window box for pollinators, walking where possible - and doing beach clean ups on team building days or helping a local wildlife charity.
At the moment, the Avon Wildlife Trust is working with local communities through a project called My Wild City. It’s transforming 8 local wildlife sites across the city, so enhancing important wildlife habitats and providing opportunities for people to visit and enjoy them.
Its urban wildlife site in Stapleton has restored wildlife in the heart of the city; people can learn practical skills in wildlife friendly planting and help fight for nature’s recovery.
One of the things the Spring 2020 magazine covers was climate change and what the Trust is doing to care for the places in its care as they are affected by it.
Things like daffodils appearing earlier; rope bridges being closed to visitors more frequently because of high winds; paintings being affected by the temperatures in the summer all point to a changing climate. Houses close because of the heat, since it affects collections and the fabric of the building. More pests and diseases are having an impact on the plants in the garden.
Together they make a picture that’s uneasy and that the Trust is trying to deal with.
The National Trust itself is taking measures to tackle climate change, such as a renewable energy investment programme. It’s pledged to reduce its use of fossil fuels by 50% by 2021. It’s creating or restoring 25,000 hectares of natural habitats because areas such as wetland and woodland can capture and store thousands of tonnes of carbon.
And the Trust has created Fit for the Future, which brings together some of the UK’s largest charities and landowners to fight the impact of climate change and rising energy costs.
So there’s lots the National Trust is doing, but as it points out, we all need to start lowering our impact on the world and start making changes.
The National Trust says there are five easy ways to make a difference are:
Waste less – less food, less energy and less water
A great and truly giving way to help them is to dig deep and be willing to make changes ourselves to help wildlife. Do it for the koalas, the polar bears, the penguins, the puffins…. your favourite wildlife...