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Note: Our events are terribly out-of-date.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.

Verifying area-based conservation @ International Civil Aviation Organization
Apr 26 @ 16:15 – 17:45
logo-cbdConvention on Biological Diversity SBSTTA20 Side Event

Room 7A 3rd Floor

Verifying area-based conservation to implement Target 11 road maps

Paragraph 54 of document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/20/2, ‘Updated Assessment of Progress Towards Selected Aichi Biodiversity Targets,’ emphasizes that the implementation of Target 11 road maps requires focused actions, funding and technical support, and monitoring and reporting.

In support of Target 11 road maps, this side event updated the Parties and stakeholders on three key initiatives verifying area-based conservation:

The IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas which aims to recognize success in achieving conservation outcomes

The Verified Conservation Area (VCA) Approach which offers an inclusive, visible, and accountable way to recognize and encourage conservation

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Forestry Management Standard which aims to contribute to the conservation of biological diversity

In this respect, the event also explored opportunities for linking Target 11 road maps to sustainable production and consumption (Target 3), sustainable productive landscapes (Target 7), ecosystem restoration (Target 15), and resource mobilization (Target 20).

vca-hosts-logosThe event was organized by Earthmind and the Global Footprint Network and with financial support from the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment.

Jessica Thomson, Canadian Forest Service

Trevor Sandwith, IUCN Global Protected Areas Programme
Francis Vorhies, Earthmind
Andrew de Vries, Sustainable Forestry Initiative

Followed by nibbles and drinks!

More information

Side event flyer

CBD webpage for the side event

VCA flyer for CBD SBSTTA20

VCA presentation for CBD SBSSTA20

IUCN Green List website

VCA Approach website

SFI website

Transparency & accountability in area-based conservation @ Green Room
May 26 @ 11:00 – 12:00

VCA-Logo-VCA-150wUNEP UNEA2 Green Room Event 18


VCA Partners including the Global Footprint Network, the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment


The aim of the side event was to build awareness, interest and support for the VCA Approach within the UNEA community. Under Agenda 2030, we have committed “to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change.” We have also committed under SDG Target 16.5 “to develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels.”

In this respect, the Verified Conservation Area (VCA) Approach aims to support effective, transparent and accountable area-based conservation to conserve and sustainably use marine and terrestrial ecosystems as set out in SDGs 14 and 15. In so doing, it will facilitate trade, financing and partnerships for sustainable development as set out in SDG 17.

This event introduced the VCA Approach as an effective and inclusive area-based conservation measure which aims to facilitate transparency, accountability, recognition and support for sustainable production at the landscape level. The session also presented a selection of VCAs from Africa, Europe and the Middle East to demonstrate how the Approach is being used by various stakeholders, including the private sector, to conserve our planet, hectare by hectare.

It was chaired by Ali Kaka (VCA Board member) with an introductory presentation by Francis Vorhies (Earthmind) followed by a panel discussion including Per Karlsson (African Wildlife Foundation, Nik Sekhran (UNDP), and Arthur Eijs (Dutch Ministry of Environment). The session highlighted opportunities for building partnerships and scaling up the registration of VCAs.

More information

UNEP Green Room event page 

VCA presentation

VCA flyer for UNEA2

VCA website


Innovations and Partnerships for SCP @ UNEP Headquarters
May 27 @ 08:15 – 09:45

Ministerial Breakfast

Note: The Verified Conservation Areas (VCA) Approach will be considered at this event.


Sustainable consumption and production is at the heart of Agenda 2030; not only is SDG 12 dedicated to the subject, but the way we use natural resources largely determines the chances of successful implementation of other SDG’s as well.

UNEP-IRP (quick scan on SDG’s, 2015) has pointed at the cross cutting character of natural resource management and the need for more circular approaches to resource management. Among the key messages from the UNEP-IRP analysis are the need for social and technological innovations and the need for public-private partnerships to achieve decoupling of economic growth and ecological impacts.

The European Commission and The Netherlands, in this event, will present approaches to these challenges from Europe and Africa, from both an international as well as national perspective. Two examples of innovations and partnerships that will facilitate the transition towards sustainable consumption and production will be presented.

These examples will highlight different aspects and entry points for the SCP-transition, looking at the end of the product chain (waste management), and at the beginning of that product chain (enhancing transparency and accountability for land use and conservation of healthy and productive ecosystems).

More information

UNEP UNEA side event

VCA Approach website

VCA flyer for UNEA2


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

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:



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


VCA Strategy Workshop @ DOB Ecology
Oct 26 – Oct 27 all-day

dobecologyVerified Conservation Areas (VCA) Approach

Strategy Workshop

DOB Ecology, Veessen, The Netherlands – 26-27 October 2016

DAY ONE – Wednesday, 26 October

12:30 – Arrival & lunch

14:00 – Session 1 – Where are we now?

Overview and discussion of the components of the VCA Approach:

VCA Standard, Toolkit & Registry

VCA Partners, Board, Auditors, Committee, Friends & Team

VCA communications – website, FAQs, flyers, presentations, papers, video, twitter, mailouts

VCA events in 2016 – The Hague, CBD SBSSTA (Montreal), UNEP UNEA (Nairobi), Oxford, Cambridge, IUCN WCC (Honolulu), IWRS (Windhoek), CITES (Joburg) plus EU B&B Platform (The Hague), CBD COP (Cancun)

15:00 – Session 2 – Where would we like to be by 2020?

16:00 – Session 3 – What do we need to do to get there?

Operationalising, growing & profiling the VCA Partners?

Strengthening VCA structures – Board, Auditor, Committee & Team?

Evolving the VCA Standard & Toolkit?

Growing the VCA Registry & enabling financing for VCAs?

Outreach? Communications? Marketing?

Targets for 2017?

18:00 – Wrap of Day One


DAY TWO – Thursday, 27 October


08:30 – Session 4 – How do we make this happen?

12:00 – Wrap up of Day Two

12:30 – Lunch & departure

VCA website:




A collaborative platform for making change @ Sofitel Hotel St James
Nov 1 all-day


From the IUCN WCC to the CBD COP

On the occasion of the World Conservation Congress, we (FFI, UNEP-WCMC, the University of Oxford, and BP plc) are providing a platform to discuss opportunities for collaboration between businesses, governments, science providers, and NGOs. It aims to support the discussions conducted at the Congress and inform those held later in the year at the Convention of Biological Diversity Business and Biodiversity Forum in Mexico by increasing awareness of the challenges faced by different stakeholders and identifying opportunities for improved partnerships to make change.

The purpose of the workshop is to provide a synthesis of the outcomes of the IUCN World Conservation Congress. The workshop will explore (i) Why is biodiversity not getting the traction in businesses & governments it should? And (ii) How can the private and public sector work more closely together to make a step-wise change?

During the workshop participants will discuss and develop innovative ideas for improved private and public partnerships to facilitate transformational improvements in nature conservation. Our discussion will build on the recent World Conservation Congress session outcomes & motions (see IUCN’s Business @ Congress summary), and the pre-workshop survey where participants identified the most relevant motions to their business / organisation.

The workshop participants are those already engaged in private and public partnerships. They hold a wealth of knowledge about what does and doesn’t work in current biodiversity related partnerships, and are likely to have many ideas about what is required to change to make more effective understanding and improvements for the future.

This is a one-day workshop, which will involve: (i) panel reflections on the World Conservation Congress session outcomes & motions; (ii) discussion of the challenges faced by different sectors in managing biodiversity issues; and (iii) focussed group discussions about the types of activities required to achieve selected WCC motions and more generally effective stakeholder partnerships for delivering change and to halt biodiversity loss.

Workshop agenda