What is the Carbon Balanced programme and how do we make our calculations?

Carbon Balanced, a World Land Trust (WLT) programme, enables individuals and companies to offset their unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions through the protection and restoration of wildlife habitats in the tropics. Carbon Balanced offsets are achieved by working through local project partners to protect ecosystems under imminent threat of destruction and restore degraded habitats in Ecuador and Vietnam. By doing so, the Carbon Balanced programme prevents the release of, and promotes the sequestration of, GHG emissions.

To ensure Carbon Balanced calculations are based on the best available science, WLT uses the most recent DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) approved conversion factors and guidance. For more information on the Carbon Balanced programme please visit www.worldlandtrust.org/eco-services/offsetting.

Is saving existing forest better than planting new ones?

Both preventing deforestation and planting new forests are equally important. The destruction of mature forest is responsible for 20% of global carbon dioxide emissions - more than the cumulative global emissions of cars, boats and planes. It is better for biodiversity to preserve existing habitat rather than trying to recreate it, which is why the Carbon Balanced programme aims to prevent deforestation if possible. However, in some parts of the world the land is so degraded that restoration through tree planting is essential. In practice we combine all the techniques needed to protect and restore a given parcel of forest.

How is my donation helping?

Nangaritza landscape © Nigel Simpson
Nangaritza landscape
© Nigel Simpson

Your donation will help ensure the protection and restoration of important habitat in the foothills of the Andes, in Ecuador. The Nangaritza Valley is a high biodiversity watershed protecting foothill forest that is part of the Podocarpus-El Condor Biosphere Reserve. Here some of the highest levels of plant diversity in the world can be found, including some fragile areas that have never been explored by scientists and are at risk of exploitation by illegal loggers and miners.

How much does the World Land Trust spend on conservation projects?

WLT publishes summaries of its finances on its website so you can see where your money actually goes. See our financial page for more information. You can also see what donations are spent on by visiting the reserves saved by World Land Trust and its partners. Other information is published in Annual Reports and Accounts, WLT News, and eBulletins.