UK: World Land Trust bring conservation to Chelsea


iguazu falls by dan ryan

Majestic waterfalls of Iguazu straddling the borders of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.


The World Land Trust (WLT) are taking a conservation message to the world's most famous horticultural event, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

WLT are more used to protecting vast stands of rainforest (they've helped save more than 400,000 acres so far) than impressing the strictest judges in the horticultural world, but their exhibit 'World Land Trust: Saving the Atlantic Rainforest' in the Continuous Learning Section will be about much more than a few fancy flowers.

The Atlantic Rainforest of South America (a biodiversity hotspot) is an ancient tract of forest-types - spreading down the eastern seaboard of Brazil before plunging inland to north Argentina and Paraguay - that provided the timber for the creation of the New World. The exploitation has continued to this day and there is probably less than 10% of the original forest cover remaining. WLT estimate that just 2% of this cover is primary rainforest and this is still threatened by conversion of land for cattle, pine plantations, and many other types of agriculture and urban development.

guarani chief in village by dan ryanThis wealth of natural resources, combined with its location, has been critical in driving the population expansion in the mega-cities of Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro, but it has never received the same level of attention as its much bigger near-neighbour, the Amazon. The World Land Trust is one of many organisations that are trying to reverse the failings of history and provide a future for its inhabitants, be they people or wildlife.

Even in its much reduced current state Atlantic Rainforest is a serious conservation priority owing to its massive biodiversity and extraordinary levels of endemism. It's home to approximately 20,000 species of plants, over 2,000 birds, and is one of the global centres of primate diversity.

It's crucially important the profile is this beautiful and threatened landscape is raised so WLT are actively involved in protecting three vital landscapes within Atlantic Forest in three countries: Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. Their exhibit at Chelsea will display trees and plants from the forest and include a live video link to the forests in Brazil.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show takes place between 25th and 29th May 2010 in London, UK and attracts nearly 160,000 people.

Related links:

Help the Guarani people with Survival International.

Support the World Land Trust in their mission to conserve rainforests.

Atlantic Forest IN PICTURES


igiazu waterfall by dan ryanDescribed by Raquel Nunez, of the World Rainforest Movement, as "beautiful" but "seemingly destined to suffer in life" the Atlantic Forest of Misiones in Argentina retains one of the largest fractions of this threatened ecosystem.

Rainforests IN PICTURES


clouds reflecting in water Daniel Beltra's award winning photographs from the Amazon, Congo, and Indonesia show us the beauty and fragility of the world's rainforests.

South America: Exploring the land of the Jaguar


children carrying flowers from the forest No other big cat lives such a mythical existence as the Jaguar. So rarely seen in the wild it might then be surprising then that it is one of the few words in English of Guarani origin. But the Jaguar’s future and that of the people that gave it its name go hand in hand.


South America: Disappearing monkeys means a shrinking forest


picture of blue misty mountains in atlantic forest Natural regeneration of the critically endangered Atlantic Forest of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina may be adversely affected by the disappearance of animals from the forest.