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National Trust for the Cayman Islands raises US$250,000 for Land Reserve Fund

Environment 04 Apr, 2024 Follow News

Photo by Blue Dot Studio. Guests from the left, Janet Walker, Bill Innes, Anne Dohms and Patricia Bradley.

A private event has raised US$250,000 for The National Trust for the Cayman Islands Land Reserve Fund, its largest contribution to date. The event raised more than half the amount needed to purchase a piece of primary forest identified by the Trust so that it will be protected in perpetuity for future generations.

The fundraising dinner, organized and hosted by Karen and Chris Luijten on Friday 2 February in their South Sound home, was an elegant, Amalfi Coast inspired evening with a four course dinner creating a memorable evening for the 110 guests. Chef Vincenzo and Chef Carmine flew in from Positano to prepare the food using produce from the Luijten’s farm. Special thanks go to the Luijten family for not only hosting the event but also for covering all event expenses so 100% of the proceeds raised will go directly towards the land purchase.

The event was supported by Platinum Sponsors Wheaton Precious Metals and Kirk Freeport, Gold Sponsors Mercedes-Benz Cayman, Dart and KPMG along with other donors including Maples, Campbells and the Ministry of Sustainability and Climate Resiliency. Thanks go also to Patrick Bourque for his invaluable help in making this event a success.

The National Trust performs an important role protecting critically endangered ecosystems, plants and animals in the Cayman Islands by purchasing carefully selected parcels of land from private landowners to preserve the biodiversity of the three islands. The Land Reserve Fund was set up in 2010 to acquire and protect environmentally sensitive land. Land, which can be donated or acquired, is protected under the National Trust for the Cayman Islands Law and preserves critical natural habitats in perpetuity.

“There is a global initiative called 30 by 30 that aims to designate 30% of the earth’s land and ocean areas as protected areas by 2030” said Catherine Childs, Environmental Programme Manager, “We would like to see Cayman in the vanguard of countries meeting this target with the National Trust playing a key role in preserving our natural treasures for future generations.”

“The Trust recognizes the need to appeal for philanthropic donations to ensure the correct balance of preserving our natural biodiversity. We currently protect 6% of Cayman’s natural environment and we’d like to increase that amount to 11% across all three islands” said Melanie Carmichael, Chairman of the National Trust. “Together with the health and wellness benefits they provide to the community, these goals are vitally important as we strive to protect and sustain our environment for future generations. The success of this event is a clear indication that we are a community that cares and we are grateful to the Luijtens and to all our sponsors and supporters who have given so generously.”

To make a donation to the Land Reserve Trust and help us reach the target amount for this piece of land, visit htps://nationaltrust.org.ky/our-work/environmental/land-reserve-fund/ or contact director@nationaltrust.org.ky .

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