Nothing Lasts Forever
Your board of trustees is now having to decide the future long-term course for our charity, LIPU-UK.
LIPU-UK was founded in 1989 by Roger Jordan of Chelmsford with the help of a strong local team of people including his wife Jill who is still an active member. The aims were simple – to provide all possible support to the foremost conservation group – LIPU, the BirdLife Partner in Italy. After nine successful years, Roger’s health was failing and he advertised, in the Ali, for a successor and I was honoured and happy to take on the role of UK Delegate.
I have been fortunate in being able to continue the tradition of leading LIPU-UK as a volunteer and now, perhaps, we should look at what has been achieved. Since our foundation, we have campaigned and helped the work in Italy by raising funds and committing the money raised to a number of projects agreed each year. Initially we supported just four, two Major projects and two which we called Minor but that reflected the level of funding rather than their importance.
After a few years it became clear that we could do more and working in harmony with Claudio Celada, the Conservation Director, we have now enabled over 150 projects – work which Claudio admits would have been unlikely without our help. A sum well in excess of one million pounds has been devoted to projects ranging from the reintroduction of Griffon Vultures in Sicily to the purchase of a small but important nature reserve near Milan, to nature education in schools and the successful struggle against the illegal killing of birds.
None of this would have been possible without the loyal and generous support of our members.
We have had disappointments. We have long had the ambition to buy a nature reserve for LIPU and a number of candidates have been found but all proved impossible for various reasons. Perhaps the most frustrating was an important wetland in the south of Sicily for which progress was being made when the regional authority decided to declare it a Regional Reserve and thus making our efforts futile. That ambition remains and we have substantial assets waiting to be spent on a project of outstanding ecological value.
However, we now return to the headline above. Although I am in no rush to retire I shall have to do so at some point, so I appeal once more for a potential successor. The work is enormously satisfying and in general requires between ten and thirty hours a week with the latter being infrequent. Some facility with computer work is vital as most of the work is done on a PC and the larger part of our communication is by email or Skype. I will be happy to describe the “job” in more detail without any commitment on anyone showing an interest.
- The Enchantment of Nature
- Red List of European Birds
- Environmental Education
- Energy and the Environment