Suffolk charity's rainforest plan

A major 20-year plan to create a new nature reserve in a threatened area of rainforest in Brazil will be launched this week in Suffolk.The Halesworth-based World Land Trust (WLT) hopes to raise £250,000 over the next three years to create a wildlife haven in an area of the critically threatened Atlantic Forest.

A major 20-year plan to create a new nature reserve in a threatened area of rainforest in Brazil will be launched this week in Suffolk.

The Halesworth-based World Land Trust (WLT) hopes to raise £250,000 over the next three years to create a wildlife haven in an area of the critically threatened Atlantic Forest.

The trust will launch the scheme as more than 100 delegates from zoos across Britain descend on Suffolk for a four-day conference about wildlife sustainability.

Banham Zoo near Diss and Africa Alive! at Kessingland near Lowestoft are hosting the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (BIAZA) annual conference at the Wherry Hotel at Oulton Broad from today until Sunday.

John Burton, chief execu-tive of the WLT, said that 18 BIAZA members had pledged more than £150,000 towards the project which will see the creation of a 1,500 hectare reserve an hour-and-a-half drive north of Rio de Janeiro.

“The new reserve will connect two existing reserves and create a larger reserve area for species such as the jaguar to roam and breed in safety,” he said.

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Mr Burton said the project was well under way and that some species had already been reintroduced.

He said the WLT's Brazilian partners owned the land and were involved in educating local people about the importance of preserving it.

Gary Batters from Banham Zoo said: “This is a great project and compliments the conservation work that Banham Zoo and Africa Alive! already supports.”

Visit www.worldlandtrust .org

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