Can companies and site managers contribute to improvements in nature and biodiversity? The international VCA quality mark has been created to facilitate this, with the aim of better nature management in the areas where we live and work. ImpactReporters is developing training materials on behalf of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Public Works and Water Management, and helping to raise public awareness of this new instrument.
The goal of VCA (Verified Conservation Areas) is to halt the continuing decline of nature and biodiversity worldwide, not only in nature reserves, but also in areas where all kinds of activities take place. Participants include a drinking water company, Dunea, which manages large parts of the Dutch dune area, and sand and gravel producers, who can set up natural areas after the extraction of raw materials.
The VCA quality mark is a recognition of these efforts. It also encourages companies, land managers (farmers, estates, the railway maintenance company ProRail, etc.) and capital providers such as Groenfonds, to formulate ambitions for nature, together with other stakeholders, and to draw up action plans.
There is still not much experience with VCA. That is why the government took the initiative, through the public works and water management agency Rijkswaterstaat, to set up a Community of Practice where interested companies and organizations can experiment and learn from each other. In order to interest new parties in VCA, notification and registration should be made more user-friendly. We are developing websites and instruction materials for this purpose (e.g. www.conserveareas.org/nl).