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Project information

Buy an Acre

WLT can purchase and protect an acre of critically endangered tropical forests and other vital habitats for £100 in Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Mexico.

Buy an Acre is an on-going project, which has been a successful initiative since the inception of the Trust in 1989

Charity information: World Land Trust

World Land Trust logo
  • Need


    Tropical forests, grasslands, wetlands and other threatened habitats are crucial for the survival of endangered species, including mammals, birds, plants and insects. However, the continued loss and fragmentation of these habitats, due to urbanisation, conversion to agriculture and logging, are putting unique species at an ever increasing risk of extinction. Buy an Acre aims to secure biologically important and threatened habitats, providing a permanent safe haven for wildlife.


    Working in partnership with local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Mexico, WLT identifies areas of high conservation value that are under a high level of threat. Buy an Acre funds the purchase of these threatened lands, with an aim to designate them as private nature reserves, so that these habitats and the wildlife that depend on them, may be protected in perpetuity. Ultimate ownership and management of land is vested in the local partner NGO.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    WLT to raise sufficient funding for land purchase and legal fees (through the Big Give).


    » WLT is taking part in the Big Give's Christmas Challenge

    What success will look like

    Success will be: to be demonstrated by total raised through pledged donations,online donations during the Christmas Challenge week and subsequent funds matched by the Big Give.

    Aim 2

    NGO partner to carry out on-site negotiations & legal steps to formally purchase property(ies)


    » WLT will liase with relevant partner during this process

    What success will look like

    Success will be: NGO to provide regular reporting, as well as copies of legal documents, financial receipts and title deeds.

    Aim 3

    Work with NGO partners to complete procedures necessary for local gov. to carry out gazettement


    » WLT to work alongside relevant NGO providing support where necessary

    What success will look like

    Success will be: NGO to provide regular reporting as well as copies of relevant correspondence and legal documentation.

    Aim 4

    To work with NGO partners to develop management plans for the reserve area(s)


    » WLT will work alongside NGO partners to devise plans, including enforcement activities

    What success will look like

    Success will be: Demonstrated by a completed management plan for the reserve

  • Impact


    The main aim of the Buy an Acre, as well as on-going activities being carried out by WLT, is to secure threatened habitat and their wildlife within project areas, ultimately slowing down overall the rate of loss in area & decreasing the rate of habitat fragmentation. In addition,it is also hoped that degraded forest & other habitat will have a chance to recover to ensure great biodiversity levels might be found in the future.This will be demonstrated through biological monitoring.


    1. Unsuccessful attempts to purchase land - reduced through using local negotiators with experience in land purchase.WLT also provide necessary funding for legal advice.
    2. In-country political risks -reduced through NGOs carrying out combined communication with local gov. and encouraging involvement as far as possible.
    3. Timber or wildlife poaching taking place at future reserves-risk minimised through regular presence on purchased properties by wardens and researchers.


    WLT already reports to donors through personal letters,printed newsletters and through electronic bulletins. For donor of large amounts WLT can develop a reporting programme designed to suit their requirements.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £200,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £12,200 Toledo 193 acres in Ecuador
      £61,000 Las Tangaras 1,200 acre section in Colombia
      £30,000 Laguna Grande 292 acres in Guatemala
      £51,000 La Media Luna 494 acres in Mexico
      £15,420 Legal costs Costs directly relating to purchases
      £30,380 Admin Admin and overheads costs
  • Background


    Buy an Acre funds go towards saving threatened habitats in:
    Colombia-Las Tangaras, located on the Pacific slopes of the Andes;
    Ecuador-Podocarpus-el Condor Biosphere reserve,a global biodiversity hotspot which contains wide range of habitats from tropical Amazonian rainforest to Andean cloud forests;
    Guatemala-Laguna Grande,a vital corridor between protected areas;
    Mexico-Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve situated in Queretaro State, in one of the richest transition regions in the Americas


    The main beneficiary of this project will be the wildlife and habitats protected, however principal stakeholders include local people living in close proximity to the project area, who depend on the watersheds for clean drinking water.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    WLT has unique experience of working with a wide network of NGOs worldwide,helping establish and fund land purchase and protection projects since its inception in 1989.Through the assistance of WLT,its partners have been able to purchase and protect nearly 500,000acres of threatened habitat and their wildlife, and now also specialised in habitat restoration activities as well. WLT itself is run by a dedicated staff and forms partnerships with like-minded NGOs who are key conservation players.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    John A Burton - CEO

    WLT is headed up by CEO John Burton, who has more than 30yrs experience in international conservation,including working at Friends of the Earth & FFI.