Nikwax supports World Land Trust urgent land purchase and protection projects

Landscape Buenaventura Reserve, Ecuador

Nikwax and Páramo have been offsetting their unavoidable carbon emissions through World Land Trust (WLT) for over a decade. Alongside this Nikwax and Páramo donate a matched amount to contribute towards WLT’s urgent land purchase and protection projects.

Between June 2008 and August 2013 Nikwax and Páramo donated a fantastic £44,819.61 to land purchase and protection.

These funds were used for WLT’s project priorities at the time, working with the charity’s overseas project partners. Nikwax/Páramo funds have been used to purchase a reserve area in Ecuador, protect vital grasslands in Kenya, fund the purchase of critical parcels of land in Borneo and helped defend the Dry Chaco of Paraguay.

In Ecuador, working with Fundacion Jocotoco, Nikwax/Páramo funds enabled the purchase of a parcel of land that is now incorporated into the Buenaventura Reserve. This reserve now covers 3,721 acres (1,506 hectares) and is known as the richest sit for birds in south-west Ecuador. This is where the threatened El Oro Parakeet was discovered in 1980; it protects the habitat of at least 30 threatened or Endemic bird species, plus the Puma, Ocelot, Howler monkey and sloth are known to occur on the reserve.

The Kinangop Grasslands of Kenya, between the Kenyan Rift Valley to the west and the Aberdare Range to the east, are critically threatened by over grazing, and the tussock grassland so important for breeding and migrating birds is being lost to drainage and agriculture. Working with Nature Kenya, WLT has helped create the Leleshwa Reserve, protecting the tussock grassland in the Kinangop Plateau. This is the last stronghold for Sharpe’s Longclaw, and the grasslands and savanna of sub-saharan Africa are a short-term home for millions of European migrant birds that fly south from Europe every autumn as the weather gets colder. Over 180 Palearctic land-bird species migrate south across the Mediterranean and vast Sahara to feed on the flush of food stimulated by the rainy season south of the Sahara, making the Kinangop highlands an important stopping place for them.

The Borneo Rainforest project was launched in 2008 when WLT formed a partnership with two non-government organisations in Malaysian Borneo: Leap Spiral and Hutan. The threats to wildlife of the region, which include some of the last populations of Orang-utans and Pygmy Elephants, are threatened by the onslaught of oil palm plantations. WLT is working with partners to connect forest ‘islands’ in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Nikwax/Páramo were one of the original supporters of this project and were instrumental in the first land purchase in 2011. WLT has recently launched its Million Pound Appeal to raise funds to protect other threatened parcels of land along the Kinabatangan River: Big Match Fortnight.

The other project supported by Nikwax/Páramo is Defending the Chaco. WLT’s project partner in Paraguay protects a mosaic of threatened habitats including Pantanal wetland, Chaco-Pantanal and Atlantic Rainforest, but it is the Dry Chaco that covers a large proportion of the country. The Dry Chaco is part of a larger eco-region known as the Gran Chaco, which translates in the Quechua language as ‘productive hunting grounds’. As its name suggests, this confluence of unique habitats supports a large variety of wildlife, including many mammal species. Whilst much attention has been placed on the tropical forests of South America, the Chaco, in the very heart of the continent, has been largely overlooked. However, it is home to a diverse range of wildlife, with more large mammals than the AmazonForest, including the Puma, Lowland Tapir, Giant Anteater and the World’s greatest diversity of armadillos. It is critically threatened by clearance for ranching and dry-resistant crops such as soya, and because of its size it is difficult to protect. Consequently the Defenders of the Chaco funds reserve rangers whose task it protect reserve areas.

Please help support WLT’s Big Match Fortnight to raise urgent funds for Bornean Rainforest.