World Land Trust for 2020
World Land Trust (WLT) is an international conservation charity that protects the world’s most biologically significant and threatened habitats acre by acre. Through a network of partner organisations around the world, WLT funds the creation of reserves and provides permanent protection for habitats and wildlife. Partnerships are developed with established and highly respected local organisations who engage support and commitment among the local community. WLT’s aims are simple: to protect and sustainably manage natural ecosystems of the world; and to conserve their biodiversity, with emphasis on threatened habitats and endangered species. To this end WLT aims to develop partnerships with local individuals, communities and to raise awareness, in the UK and elsewhere, of the need for conservation.
This year, BPOTY will be supporting WLT’s collaboration with their long-term Indian partner, the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), specifically with a new project that will protect critical wetland areas in Uttar Pradesh State in northern India. These wetlands are of key importance for the Sarus Crane Antigone antigone which is classified as Vulnerable on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of threatened species. The current range of the Indian Sarus Crane includes the plains of north-western India, the western half of Nepal’s Terai Lowlands and parts of Pakistan, and the species is listed as Vulnerable because it is suspected to have suffered a rapid population decline, which is projected to continue, as a result of widespread reductions in the extent and quality of its wetland habitats, exploitation and the effects of pollutants. The Sarus Crane is the tallest of all flying bird species, standing 6 foot high, and this striking and beautiful species depends on wetlands and surrounding agricultural fields for foraging and nesting. As a consequence its successful conservation depends critically on working with local communities to ensure its protection, as this landscape and the wetlands it contains are of also of key importance for farmers and local communities. We will be supporting WTI in their 3 year project which aims to establish community-managed areas and legal protected areas (1,500 hectares and 3,000 hectares respectively) in Uttar Pradesh to improve the conservation of the Sarus Crane population within this state and also protect wetlands areas that are used by a wide range of migratory water birds.