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Note: Our events are terribly out-of-date.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

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)

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

Third EU B@B Annual Conference
Nov 23 all-day

logo-eubbThird EU B@B Annual Conference

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.

Draft Conference Agenda

Verified Conservation Areas : 2015 EC Rapid Assessment

Investing in verified conservation: 2014 EC Case Study

European Business @ Biodiversity Platform website

Natural Capital – Let’s talk business! @ Foker Terminal
Nov 24 – Nov 25 all-day

logo-pbeeNatural Capital – Let’s talk business!

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.

VCA-Logo-VCA-150wTitle: Sustainable area management being rewarded

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.

Learning Objectives:

– 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:

UN Biodiversity Conference 2016 @ Centro de Convenciones Moon Palace Arena
Dec 4 – Dec 17 all-day

logo-cop13ingles-finalCBD COP13

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.

VCA Approach presentation

CBD side-event webpage:

VCA Approach website:

Other events where the VCA Approach will be active

2016 Business and Biodiversity Forum – 02-03 December – details on & more details on the

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 –

VCA Partners & Friends Meeting – 06 December at 20:00 – details forthcoming


Investing in conservation @ Dukascopy TV interview
Feb 17 all-day

Investing in Conservation

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


African Landscapes Dialogue @ Horn of Africa Regional Environment Center
Mar 6 – Mar 9 all-day

African Landscapes Dialogue: Integrated Landscape Management in Practice

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 .

How to register a Verified Conservation Area