So after the incredible success of previous events (see below), the World Land Trust's Big March Fortnight 2023 kicked off on the 11th October 2023.
And this year, the appeal is for Columbia, and it's called the Columbia's Forests of Mist Appeal.
The Appeal is Columbia’s Forests of Mist. And the aim is to secure a future for one of the threatened cloud forests in Columbia.
UPDATE on 27 November 2023: The appeal is 65% of the way there ! Please give your support if you can!
Columbia has some of the largest cloud forest areas in Latin America – and yet it has just 10 to 20% of its original cloud forests remaining.
Since 2007, Fundación Guanacas has protected 850 hectares of habitat here. It is a partner of the UK based World Land Trust, who work to support conservation groups around the world. You can visit the website of Fundación Guanacas here.
The Columbia Forests of Mist appeal will:
- Extend the protected area of land by 181 hectares
This will mean 1,031 hectares are protected – the ecosystem is threatened by agricultural activity. Pumas roam here – they are safe from human conflict and illegal hunting, but the encroachment of agricultural land could change all this. Without this land purchase, the area could be bought up and used for livestock – and that will make forest fragmentation worse.
- Restore 100 hectares of essential cloud forest habitat
This will be done by planting 36,500 native tree species between 2023 and 2028. It will reconnect fragmented forests for animals such as the puma, the ocelot and Northern oncilla so that they can move safely, rest and feed. The pumas’ presence and condition will be monitored by the forest rangers, using camera traps to see what the pumas are up to, and rehabilitated wildlife will be released in the area, too.
- Protect habitat of 665 species.
15 species are on the IUCN Red List so this project is giving them a lifeline. Species such as the Antioquia Brushfinch are here – this species was once thought to be extinct – and so is the Antioquia Chocolate Frog, a tree frog found in northwestern Columbia alone. This frog needs the torrents and puddles that the damp terrain provides. But a successful appeal will help:
- 28 Amphibians, of which 3 are threatened species.
- 443 birds, of which 6 are threatened species
- 148 mammals of which 4 are threatened species
- 46 reptiles – 2 species are threatened
- Over 250 plant species. These include 120 recorded orchid species and the area also has the world’s tallest palm tree!
4. Ensure the health and security of very important water cycles
Wildlife and local people depend on these, as the cloud forest captures, stores and releases water downstream.
5. Offer livelihoods to local people through ecotourism and conservation jobs.
Nine cabins will be built to host guests, for example, and ecotourism activities will be developed with local communities. Three forest ranger positions will be held by local people for the first three years of the project and their role will be to plant and nurture trees, monitor camera traps and accompany visitors to the reserve
The Antioquia Brushfinch is one of the species
who need this appeal to succeed.
This is an exciting and important opportunity to support Fundación Guanacas, a partner of the World Land Trust, to expand its Guanacas Reserve which has one of the only cloud forests in its Antioquia region. Fundación Guanacas needs funds to save land that would suffer deforestation and soil degradation if it were not saved and restored.
Please support this appeal if you can!
All about the World Land Trust:
The World Land Trust is an amazing charity based in the UK, (HQ in Suffolk). It focuses specifically on conserving threatened habitats and it does this through raising funds for land purchase. It goes down this route with considerable care, and the land is purchased, protected and managed by local partner organisations. Thus is has the ability to respond swiftly when lands are under threat of destruction.
So far, the World Land Trust has protected 2,409,420 acres, and planted 2,457,900 trees. It works in countries such as Argentina, Ecuador, Belize, Mexico, Peru, South Africa, the UK, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Paraguay, India, Guatemala – and lots more! View their projects here
It raises some of these funds through a Buy an Acre scheme – a £100 donation can buy an acre of land and protect it for wildlife in perpetuity. You can also donate (one off or monthly) to the Action Fund which is used to for funds to enable the Trust to respond fast where action is needed, be it to extend and safeguard existing reserves or fight fires, or make sure that the reserves are protected by experienced rangers.
Every year, the World Land Trust has a huge appeal in the autumn. It's called Big Match Fortnight...
All about previous Big Match Fortnights
In 2022, this appeal was a real opportunity to save Ecuador’s incredible Río Anzu and Río Zúñac forests! The Life of the Edge appeal launched in October 2022 reached its £1,430,000 target! Everyone who donated has enabled the World Land Trust's partner – Foundación EcoMinga – to DOUBLE the size of the Anzu and Zúñac reserves in Ecuador’s upper Río Pastaza watershed. Read all about it HERE
Along with donations from EcoMinga’sother supporters, the World Land Trust’s partner would be able to safeguard 5,1234 acres across both reserves, patrolled by the World Land Trust funded Keepers of the Wild. And – very exciting – they will be linked to a 1.6 MILLION hectare protected network.
In 2021, the Trust aimed to raise £1.2 million for the Guardians of Nimla Ha’ – one of their most ambitious appeals to date. An incredible £1.37 million was raised which enabled the Trust’s partner in Guatemala, FUNDAECO, to complete the purchase to TRIPLE the size of their Laguna Grande Reserve, home to over 700 species. Manatees, ocelots, 357 bird species, primates, Jaguars, Margays will all be much safer thanks to this purchase. The reserve tripled in size from 1,668 to nearly 5,000 acres. Find out more about the Guardians of Nimla ‘Ha appeal here.
We need to buy these habitats to protect them. Let conservation be the victor here, not extraction and destruction
Together we can all make this happen. Every single donation will make a difference.
The wildlife need us. Please let’s take action and donate and/or spread the word!
We can act as individuals by donating and spreading the word and being a part of a something really important and terrific. By pulling together, we can power through this appeal and help protect wildlife.