Halesworth conservationists given award for elephant work

(From Left) Dia Mirza, Vivek Menon with Viv and John Burton of the World Land Trust

(From Left) Dia Mirza, Vivek Menon with Viv and John Burton of the World Land Trust - Credit: Archant

Conservationists from Suffolk have been given a Lifetime Achievement Award for Elephant Conservation at a ceremony in India.

John and Vivien Burton, who run the World Land Trust from offices in Halesworth, received the award from Vivek Menon, executive director of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) on World Elephant Day at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) in New Delhi.

The World Land Trust has worked with WTI since 2003 primarily on securing and extending elephant corridors to connect large protected areas for Indian Elephants and reduce human-elephant conflict in populated areas.

Mr Burton said: “We were surprised and honoured to receive this award and it was wonderful to be at the Gaj Mahotsav festival and to meet some of India’s top conservationists and politicians.

“World Land Trust’s partner Wildlife Trust of India has worked for 20 years to protect India’s wildlife, with the elephant as its flagship and, in a country of 1.3 billion people what they have achieved to create safe passage for elephants through this landscape populated by humans is remarkable.

“While there is still a lot more to be done we came away feeling optimistic about the future and the goodwill that was generated at the festival and thank the whole World Land Trust team herein the UK for their commitment to helping and supporting our Indian partners.”