World Land Trust launches appeal to save Guatemalan migrant hot-spot


The World Land Trust's (WLT) Big Match Fortnight is underway, and this year is raising funds to save a migration hot-spot in Guatemala.

The Guardians of Nimla Ha' appeal aims to save remaining lowland forest around Laguna Grande, on the Caribbean coast of the Central American nation.

As well as acting as a major carbon sink and natural flood barrier, the forests of Laguna Grande support the livelihoods of indigenous Mayan Q'eqchi' people and provides a seasonal refuge for migrant birds, including the declining Wood Thrush and Kentucky Warbler. For a more detailed lowdown of Laguna Grande and the special wildlife it supports, read José Rojo Martin's feature in the October 2021 issue of Birdwatch magazine.

Donations to the £1,200,000 Guardians of Nimla Ha' appeal will fund WLT partner FUNDAECO's tripling of the Laguna Grande Reserve, from 675 ha to 2,023 ha.

Three privately owned properties need to be purchased. Together, these properties will provide protection to the lagoon's entire edge for the first time, while also linking the Laguna Grande Reserve to the 2,075-ha Cerro Sarstún CONAP Reserve – a protected passageway for wildlife to move between the two protected areas.

The Big Match Fortnight runs from 6-19 October 2021, and WLT supporters will have the chance to make double the impact for nature as part of the appeal.

Over the course of the Fortnight, every donation will be matched, using funds already secured from a generous collection of standout supporters, charitable trusts and foundations, and corporate partners.

Combine this with the pledge from a private donor to provide funding and you can make your donation go even further this year, at no extra cost to yourself. "Together," WLT says, "we can make this the biggest Big Match Fortnight ever!"