earthmind-globeSelected events

Note: Our events are terribly out-of-date. Our apologies for this. We are building a new website which we are aiming to launch in July 2018.

Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue @ UNEP Headquarters
May 27 @ 13:15 – 14:45

2016-05-27-multistakeholder-photoUNEP UNEA 2 Special Session

Restoring and sustaining healthy ecosystems for people and planet: Partnerships to jointly deliver on the environmental dimension of Agenda 2030

Chaired by Sharon Dijksma, Minister for the Environment of the Netherlands and Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute

The main objective of the multi-stakeholder dialogue was to provide an opportunity to Member States, Major Groups and other stakeholders to discuss how multi-stakeholder partnerships for restoring and sustaining healthy ecosystems can contribute to successfully deliver on the environmental dimension of the 2030 agenda and the role of UNEA in catalysing such partnerships.

Opening remarks by Minister Dijksma on the VCA Approach

VCA-Logo-VCA-150wI am proud to announce that, together with a number of other parties, I will be signing a Letter of Intent immediately after this dialogue. The goal is sustainable land use, under the motto: ‘conserving the planet, hectare by hectare’. And how do we mean to do this? With Verified Conservation Areas.

Let me briefly explain. Preservation of our natural capital must be our guiding light. Sustainable production and consumption are a prerequisite for a sustainable and prosperous future, for all the world’s people.

Verified Conservation Areas are an instrument, a means to an end. They are a voluntary instrument, calling upon civil society actors to set a goal for biodiversity and restoration of ecosystems and to report publicly on progress towards it. No more, and certainly no less. It is rather like the approach to climate change: a register of voluntary pledges, whose implementation can be publicly monitored.

The register’s transparency and accountability are attractive, and not only for investors. They are also a great way of informing and involving stakeholders in a region. This is a rich source of experience to learn from.

The Netherlands has supported the development of this instrument over the past few years. I am pleased that we can now take the next step: forming an international coalition of public and private parties to take practical steps towards implementation.

We aim to expedite matters and put this on a solid foundation. Our goal is to go from 300,000 to a million registered hectares by the end of 2017.

More info

Minister Dijksma’s short speech, also at

UNEP UNEA2 website

VCA website

VCA Coalition Signing Event @ VIP Room
May 27 @ 14:45 – 15:15

2016-05-27-vca-photoMulti-stakeholder VCA signing ceremony

A voluntary public and private coalition together signed a Letter of Intent to help promote, further develop and secure the sustained and increase use of the VCA Approach as a contribution to sustainable land management in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

More information

Signed VCA Letter of Intent

VCA Partners page on the VCA website

VCA flyer for UNEA2



The Verified Conservation Area Approach @ A J Herbertson Room, School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford University
Jun 22 @ 16:00 – 18:00

hectare by hectareAn Oxford Centre for Tropical Forests Seminar
on the VCA Approach

The Verified Conservation Area (VCA) Approach aims to recognise area-based conservation, particularly beyond traditional protected areas. The VCA Approach includes a public Registry of VCAs, a Standard for being listed in the Registry, and a Toolkit of recommended best practice.

The VCA Registry is an inclusive, visible, accountable platform for recognising conservation in the areas where we live and work. The VCA Standard sets out a common framework for conservation planning, reporting and auditing.

The VCA Partners, which include the CBD Secretariat, the governments of Indonesia and the Netherlands, the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management, Conservation International, the Global Footprint Network and the World Resources Institute, are keen to scale up the VCA approach by piloting it in new areas and learning lessons from these pilots.

This talk will provide an overview of the VCA Approach, outline future directions, and explore its potential for recognising voluntary area-based conservation.

More information

VCA Approach presentation

VCA Approach website

Cambridge talks on the VCA Approach @ David Attenborough Building
Jun 29 – Jun 30 all-day

hectare by hectareRecognising area-based conservation outside of protected areas

First talk on the 29th of June from 12:30-14:00 at The Biodiversity Consultancy

Second talk on the 30th of June from 10:00-11:00 at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre

Third talk on the 30th of June from 13:30-14:30 at the David Attenborough Building – OPEN INVITATION

The aim of these talks is to update the conservation community in Cambridge about an innovative and inclusive measure for recognising voluntary area-based conservation – the Verified Conservation Area Approach.

More information

VCA Approach presentation for the Cambridge talks

VCA Approach website:



Duke talk on business & biodiversity @ IUCN World Conservation Centre
Jul 6 @ 13:00 – 14:00

earthmind-globeThis talk focuses on how to work with the private sector to conserve biodiversity. It will explore the business case for biodiversity and a management approach to biodiversity conservation.

As well, it will introduce two key tools for businesses to use to conserve nature – IFC Performance Standard 6 and the VCA Approach.

Presentation on business & biodiversity

IFC Sustainability website

VCA Approach website

Earthmind biotools website

Can companies help maintain a sustainable environment?
Aug 1 all-day

Can companies help maintain a sustainable environment?

Dukascopy TV interview with Francis Vorhies, Founder and Executive Director, Earthmind


Implementing the Nagoya Protocol on ABS in Myanmar @ Lake Garden Hotel
Aug 9 – Aug 10 all-day

abs-organisersUNEP-China Trust Fund Supported Project

2nd Consultation-Workshop on Implementing
the Nagoya Protocol on ABS in Myanmar


To review and assess the latest draft ABS regulatory and institutional frameworks

To gather recommendations from key stakeholders on improving the draft ABS regulatory and institutional frameworks

To review the piloting of ABS measures

To finalize the enhanced PIF on Myanmar

To revisit and further enhance roadmap on ABS

Agenda & Presentations

Workshop Agenda

Assessment of the enhanced draft regulatory and institutional frameworks on ABS (U San Lwin, National ABS Expert)

Feedback on the assessment of the draft regulatory and institutional frameworks on ABS (Elpidio V. Peria, Regional ABS Expert)

Implementation of ABS in the Biotechnology Institute (Nay Nae Nyein Chan, Biotechnology Institute, Ministry of Education)

Way Forward (Anthony Foronda, ACB Programme Specialist, ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity)

Presentation of the draft PIF (Francis Vorhies, Earthmind)


Myanmar Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC)

ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity

UNEP Regional Office for Asia Pacific

The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing


IUCN World Conservation Congress @ Hawaiʻi Convention Center
Sep 1 – Sep 10 all-day

iucn-wcc2016-logoHeld once every four years, the IUCN World Conservation Congress brings together several thousand leaders and decision-makers from government, civil society, indigenous peoples, business, and academia, with the goal of conserving the environment and harnessing the solutions nature offers to global challenges.

The Congress aims to improve how we manage our natural environment for human, social and economic development, but this cannot be achieved by conservationists alone. The IUCN Congress is the place to put aside differences and work together to create good environmental governance, engaging all parts of society to share both the responsibilities and the benefits of conservation.

The Congress is the place where IUCN’s more than 1,300 Member organisations exercise their rights, influence the global conservation agenda and guide IUCN’s work plan for the four years to follow.

The VCA Approach at the IUCN Congress

Many VCA Partners and friends will be attending the IUCN Congress providing an opportunity to raise awareness and interest in Verified Conservation Areas and to explore opportunities for scaling up the Approach.

The VCA focal point at the IUCN Congress is Sarah French, Director of Operations at A Rocha International, a VCA Partner and IUCN Member. Sarah can be contacted at

VCA information for the IUCN Congress

VCA website –

VCA twitter page –


VCA FAQs flyer –

VCA Flyer –

Suggested IUCN Congress workshops for highlighting the VCA Approach



9th International Wildlife Ranching Symposium @ Safari Court Hotel
Sep 12 – Sep 16 all-day


The 9th International Wildlife Ranching Symposium will be hosted at the Safari Hotel in Windhoek, Namibia from 12-16 September 2016. It is the ideal network opportunity to exchange ideas with fellow game ranchers from all around the world to meet new people and to solidify existing relationships.

The timing of this Symposium precedes the CITES COP 17 meeting, which will be held in South Africa from 24 September 2016 – 5 October 2016. Attendance of the 9th IWRS will benefit discerning delegates and national stakeholders, to network for the upcoming discussions at CITES CoP 17.

Earthmind is are speaking on ‘Rhino economics and ‘Verifying conservation in wildlife ranches.’

IWRS 2016 Programme

Rhinos: Economics, Trade and Politics 

The Verified Conservation Area (VCA) Approach


CITES COP17 & Sustainable Wildlife Trade @ Sandton Convention Centre
Sep 24 – Oct 5 all-day

cites-cop17CITES – the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora – aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

The 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP17) takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa from 24 September to 5 October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre.

This will be the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES held on the African continent since CITES came into force on 1 July 1975, but it will the first held on the continent since 2000.

wildtrade with sloganEarthmind Wild Trade Side Events

Enhancing policy coherence for the trade of legal wildlife products

Tue 27 Sep – 17:30-18:30 – Room: Exhibition 2 D

SDG Target 17.14 aims to “enhance policy coherence for sustainable development.” This event will explore the international policy framework for trade in legal wildlife products in support of sustainable development. It will be organised as a panel discussion.

Discussion questions include (a) What is the suitable international policy platform for recognising and supporting the sustainable use of wild resources in support of SDGs 14 and 15 and (b) As a trade agreement, should CITES sit under the WTO rather than UNEP, and (c) Should CITES Parties support research on delisting species to enable a legal and sustainable trade in wildlife products?

Panel members

Peter Bridgewater (former Ramsar Secretary General & Global Garden Consulting)
Rosie Cooney (IUCN Sustainable Use & Livelihoods Group Chair)
Alejandra Garcia (Responsible Ecosystem Sourcing Platform Sustainable Use Specialist)
Maxwell Gomera (UNEP Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services Director)

Background reference

The SDGs, the trade in wild good and services, and CITES
(prepared for CITES SS66, Jan 2016)

Voluntary standards for sustainable trade of legal wildlife products

Wed 28 Sep – 17:30-18:30 – Room: Com. Room 1

Can voluntary standards and certification schemes play a role in enhancing legal, regulated and report trade in wildlife products? If so, is there a role for CITES Parties to support the development and use of such schemes in support of delisting species to enable sustainable trade in wildlife products for sustainable development. The session will be organised as a panel discussion with references to lessons learned from wild trade standards such as FairWild, the Marine Aquarium Council, the Marine Stewardship Council.

Panel members

Steven Broad (TRAFFIC Executive Director)
Christopher Galliers (WESSA Wildlife & Conservation Initiatives Manager)
Andrew Taylor (Endangered Wildlife Trust)
Michael ‘t Sas-Rolfes (IUCN SULi & Earthmind Research Associate)

Background reference

The trade in wildlife – A framework to improve biodiversity and livelihood outcomes
(ITC & IUCN, 2015)