Note: The most recent are at the bottom of the page.
Taking Stock, Looking Forward
23 November 2016, The Hague
The Conference represents a great opportunity for members of the EU B@B Platform and other businesses alike to learn about the work of the EU B@B Platform and to exchange their views on the critical issues linked to business and biodiversity.
Earthmind is a member of the EU Business @ Biodiversity Forum. During its first phase, Earthmind was a technical advisor on its development. During the current second phase, it has contributed case studies on the Verified Conservation Areas (VCA) Approach.
Organised by the Platform Biodiversity, Ecosystems & Economy (Platform BEE)
The event is entirely devoted to practical issues, enabling you to gain inspiration and benefit from practical advice. Meet other front runners; people who, like you, introduce change at large and small organisations, in the Netherlands and elsewhere. Share your knowledge and learn from the experiences and business cases of others. And then put everything into practice. Immediately.
Earthmind is supporting a break-out session which will explore the role for Verified Conservation Areas.
Presentation Format: Fishbowl
Speakers: Steven de Bie (De Gemeynt) & Daan Wensing (IDH)
Supplying food, fuel & fiber for nine billion people, without depleting the earth’s natural resources, is a critical challenge in the years ahead. Increasingly, farmers, extractive industries, energy companies, tourism facilities and expanding populations have competing claims on scarce land and water resources. Balancing the claims and interests of all stakeholders – companies, governments, civil society organizations and others – is key to sustainable land and water management. It is for this reason that there is quite some interest for sustainable area management today. It contributes to the restoration, conservation and sustainable use of natural capital.
This fishbowl will share practical approaches on sustainable landscape management. A specific focus is placed on the approach of the Verified Conservation Areas register (VCA). The VCA provides a standardized and auditable approach for – voluntarily – sustainable land use and enhancement of natural capital in accordance with the VCA standard. This standard focuses not only on nature, but also on other areas where economic use can go hand in hand with enhancing the natural environment. Each area can be included in the VCA Register, on the condition that the management is focused on restoration, conservation and sustainable use of natural capital. There will be an announcement of a CoP VCA that is currently being set up.
In addition, the floor will be given to the Initiative for Sustainable Landscapes (ISLA) of IDH. This landscape program works together with business, government and civil society to safeguard social values, and to contribute to economic development while minimizing environmental harm. The program addresses: deforestation, livelihoods, water management and toxic loading. After two short presentations on VCA and ISLA, there will be room for discussion on how the approaches are perceived, can be improved and be adopted by the market as a valid and common instrument.
– Knowledge of sustainable area management approaches
– Understand how VCA and ISLA can be relevant for the attendees: it is often perceived that the focus of an area should be on nature to be recognized for sustainable management, though economic activities may well take place in areas under sustainable management approaches explained.
VCA website: http://ConserveAreas.org
The 13th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity
Moon Place Conference Centre, Cancun, Mexico – 2-17 December 2016
The theme of COP13 is mainstreaming biodiversity for well-being. Mainstreaming includes conserving biodiversity where we live and work.
The VCA side-event at COP13
Verifying area-based conservation
Tuesday, 06 Dec 2016 at 13:15 – Contact Group 8 Meeting Room, Universal Building, main floor
The Verified Conservation Area (VCA) Approach aims to recognise and support conservation in the areas where we live and work. It directly addresses priority issues addressed by SBSTTA 20 for COP13 including the mainstreaming of biodiversity and other effective area-based conservation measures across sectors.
The session presented progress to date in the design and implementation of the VCA Approach. This included an overview of pilot VCAs in countries such as Indonesia, Mozambique, the Solomon Islands, Uganda, Yemen as well as several Member States of the European Union. Through a panel discussion, it explored options for scaling up this incentive measure for mainstreaming area-based conservation into sectors to promote sustainable production, ecosystem restoration and resource mobilisation.
Speakers included representatives of the VCA Board and Partners including Arthur Eijs from the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, Maxwell Gomera from UN Environment, Carlos Rodriguez from Conservation International and the Government of Costa Rica, Ulrich Stöcker from the German Environmental Action Fund, and Sebastian Winkler from the Global Footprint Network.
CBD side-event webpage: https://www.cbd.int/side-events/1809
VCA Approach website: http://ConserveAreas.org
Other events where the VCA Approach will be active
Exploratory lunch with CAF (the Development Bank of Latin America) – 03 December – invitation only
VCAs as a potential framework for RESP (Responsible Ecosystem Platform) Projects – 03 December – invitation only
Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures – 06 December at 18:15 – https://www.cbd.int/side-events/2198
VCA Partners & Friends Meeting – 06 December at 20:00 – details forthcoming
This learning event will provide a dynamic forum for leaders to share their diverse experiences with implementing integrated landscape management. They will participate in skills-building sessions, learn about new planning, management and monitoring tools demonstrated by their creators, visit firsthand landscapes where the power of integrated landscape approaches are visible, and more.
One of the featured initiatives will be the Verified Conservation Area (VCA) Platform.
We will be speaking on VCAs in a panel discussion and we’ll also hold a session on how to register a VCA .
This workshop is the first milestone in a project on a “A Richer & Healthier Baltic Sea – A Private Landowner Initiative.” It was supported by the Baltic Sea Conservation Foundation and Earthmind.
The workshop explored the conservation efforts by individual landowners and communities around the Baltic using the unique wetland restoration initiative at the Tullstorp Stream in Sweden as the starting point. Tullstorp Stream is a proposed Verified Conservation Area (VCA) and, thus, will demonstrate its conservation outcomes through a transparent process of planning, reporting and auditing. The workshop aims to identify opportunities for rolling out the VCA approach in the Baltic Sea region.
Twenty-five participants from five Baltic countries – Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden – plus Austria, Switzerland and Japan met at Jordberga Parkhotel in southern Sweden to learn about the unique, bottom-up landowner initiative to restore wetlands and a smaller river started in 2009. The group consisted of private landowners, NGOs, pan-Baltic organisations and programmes – Council of Baltic Sea States, CBSS, Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme, Baltic Sea Conservation Foundation, WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme – and regional and local authorities.
As result, at least four additional wetland/river restoration opportunities for VCA registration by private landowners were identified – Latvia -2, Lithuania – 1, Poland – 1 – with interesting prospects also in Germany.
Also a group of committed landowners and NGOs was formed, and as a first concrete step a funding application to the CBSS Project Support Facility has been prepared and submitted in mid-April involving nine partners from Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland. The funding requested would be used to develop a project proposal for the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme targeting the Priority Area 2 on Natural Resources, focusing on launching multi-functional wetland/river restoration activities run by private landowners in six countries and optimising the enabling conditions – policy and funding – at the national and EU level for multiplication.
If you would you like to hold a similar VCA workshop in your region, please do contact us.
Earthmind will be participating, reporting back on the recent Wildlife Economy Workshop, and exploring opportunities for listing member ranchers as Verified Conservation Areas.
Recognising & encouraging conservation where we live & work
The Global Footprint Network predicts that by 2020 we will be using the resources of 1.75 planets. To reduce our global footprint, we need to increase conservation far beyond protected areas. We need to encourage conservation in the areas where we live and work.
This session introduces the Verified Conservation Area (VCA) approach, a voluntary mechanism for recognizing area-based conservation. VCA offers communities, companies, and individuals the opportunity to be recognised for their conservation efforts through transparency, accountability, and verification.
The session will begin with an introduction to the VCA approach, followed by an overview of research on landowner motivations for conservation actions. It will conclude with two commentators and an open discussion.
Francis Vorhies, Earthmind: Introduction to the VCA Approach
Jennifer Gooden, University of Oxford: Conservation Landowner Perspective
Prue Addison, University of Oxford
Chris Naylor, A Rocha International
April 2017 update on the VCA Approach
If you own or manage an area and would like to be recognised for your conservation efforts, we invite you to register the area as a VCA.