National Trust puts nature up for adoption

| 02/10/2013

(CNS): As the battle to preserve what remains of the Cayman Islands' dwindling natural resources gets tougher and with no spare cash and no conservation legislation, the National Trust of the Cayman Islands is turning to a new marketing idea to raise funds towards purchasing land and managing what it has — the only means by which unique habitat can be saved from the bulldozer. Launching its 'Adopt Nature Programme', the first of its kind in the Cayman Islands, the Trust said sponsors could become financial guardians of a slice of unique local habitat.

Adopters will receive an adoption certificate, map and description of their adopted area, and the adoption will be recorded in an online public database, as well as on site where possible.

To participate in the programme individuals can choose an area and the amount of acres to be adopted and then make an online payment via a secure form or by cheque. Adoptions are valid for 5 years, with the original adopter having first choice of renewal for the same area.

“We wanted to find a way to make participating in local conservation efforts affordable and accessible to individuals and companies whilst developing a sustainable source of income for the Trust,” said National Trust Director Christina Pineda. “I believe that the Adopt Nature Programme has accomplished this and has also created a completely new and unique gift idea for those who want to give a meaningful and creative gift to others.  By adopting acres in our reserves, individuals and companies will make a world of difference by helping us to protect the habitats of Cayman’s important biodiversity.”

The National Trust, like all charities and NGOs, is feeling the pinch as donors cut back and support from government is also being reduced. So, in its fight to keep protecting local environmental and cultural resources, the Trust needs to find new ways to bring in much needed revenue.

Adopting a parcel of land does not confer rights to the land for use but helps the Trust manage and, most importantly, protect the land for the species occupying it. Environmental Programmes Manager Paul Watler said the Adopt Nature Programme is similar to the adopt-a-highway programme in the US or adopt-a-rainforest in the Amazon.

“People who participate in those programmes don’t suddenly own a strip of highway or piece of forest. I felt it important to confirm that adopting does not confer any legal rights to any of the National Trust properties, but rather is a way for people to assist us with the ongoing costs of habitat protection,” he explained.

The Cayman Islands is home to more than 700 plant species, 240 bird species, 9 bat species, 13 reptile species and 50 butterfly species, most of which are found nowhere else in the world. Contributions through the Adopt Nature Programme will help the Trust in its efforts to conserve these species in our forests, shrub lands and wetlands throughout all three Cayman Islands.

The Mastic Reserve, Salina Reserve, and Governor Gore’s Bird Sanctuary are a few areas available for adoption in Grand Cayman, along with Cayman Brac Parrot Reserve and Brac Splits in Cayman Brac and Booby Pond Nature Reserve in Little Cayman.

Individuals or companies can adopt portions of the Trust’s reserves, starting at a quarter acre for CI$99. Those adopting a full acre will receive a discounted rate of CI$350.

Individualscan also adopt in memory of a loved one or to give as a gift. The programme is also an ideal option for environmentally minded companies looking for ways to contribute to conservation in the Cayman Islands and get their employees involved in fundraising for a good cause. Visitors to the Islands will also have an opportunity to take back a meaningful and lasting souvenir with them.

Visit the National Trust website for adoption application or contact marketing@nationaltrust.org.ky or call 749-1121 for more information.

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Category: Science and Nature

Comments (7)

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  1. Anonymously says:

    Way to go Natural Trust maybe we could have a fundraiser at all the areas that we are trying to perserve and have a local food sale each Friday for a week in downtown GT.  Members of the National Trust could ask some of their members to showcase an exibition at the national gallery with Cayman then and now to let the country see what they are trying to perserve.

  2. See Level says:

    What is really ridiculous is that a true NGO like the National Trust has to compete directly against government owned entities and even government departments for donations from the private sector.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Expats will no longer do this as thier days are as numbered as the enviroments.  Caymanians won't do this because its not all about them.  Take lots of pictures.  I would love to be proven wrong.

    • Anonymous says:

      For crying out loud the govt. is about to change the law so that everyone on permit will be allowed to apply for PR at year 8 and here you are still complaining! smh.  

      • Anonymous says:

        What paper are you reading?not reading?.  They now have 45 days to get it or not then they have to leave.  But I see why you only see what you see.  If you saw what expats and their employers see then you would not think so highly of  yourselves.

        • Anonymous says:

          What? Speak English. They have 45 additional days to apply for PR. That's much more than they had before. Show a little gratitude.

    • Anonymously says:

      This has nothing to do with expats or immigration please stop.