World Land Trust over the past decade has organised Symposia for its partner organisations about every 18 months or so. Getting together with organisations as diverse as FPWC in Armenia and Fundacion Biodiversidad in Argentina, or Wildlife Trust of India, and REGUA in Brazil, gives us all a real dose of enthusiasm. One of the key factors in these symposia, is that it is mostly about discussion, not presentation. And we discuss problems and failures as much as success. Conservationists are often very good a t delivering reports on success — we have to otherwise our funders would not be happy. But we don’t often get a chance for a full, frank and open discussion about problems, and failures. This particular symposium with include a lot of discussion on working with local communities. Some of our partners have had remarkable successes, but there have also been lots of problems along the way. Learning from each other it a great way of improving success rates. So in less than a week’s time 18 of World Land Trust Partners, together with one of our main funding partners, IUCN Netherlands will be gathering in Mexico, hosted by our Partner in Sierra Gorda. If anyone wants to know more about how productive some of these gatherings have been, there’s plenty on the World Land Trust website, and the first Symposium proceedings were published by IUCN Netherlands, as these had serious implications for the future. Today is the start of our 2016 Symposium.
While there, if we have any time off, I will be up in the hills looking for one of the several species of axolotl that occur in the cold mountain streams. On my only other visit to Mexico a few years ago, I was lucky enough to find a stream with lots of them. The stream was icy cold, but it was well worth wading around to get up close to them, catch a couple for photography.
And just to finish off, if anyone out there wants to make a donation to any of our projects (see http://www.worldlandtrust.org) our Partners would all be delighted. They all need funding, and the Keepers of the Wild programme is the one that generally helps them most . An average of £5000 keeps a ranger in the field for year. But whether its £5.00, £50 or £5000 a donation is always welcome