The Verified Conservation Area Approach

OCTF seminar followed by drinks

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.

Dr Frank Vorhies has more than 20 years of international experience as a sustainability economist. In Johannesburg, he was a senior lecturer in business economics at Wits University and founder of a South Africa consultancy focused on business, economics and the environment. In Nairobi, he worked for the African Wildlife Foundation under a UNDP/GEF grant to build biodiversity capacity in the forestry sector in East Africa.

In Geneva, Frank established global programmes on economics and business for IUCN-The World Conservation Union. This work included joint feasibility studies with the International Finance Corporation on investing in biodiversity businesses in Africa and Central Europe. In Oxford, he was Chief Executive of the Earthwatch Institute (Europe) and managed a unique partnership programme with a group of 40 large multinational corporations, including BAT, HSBC, Rio Tinto, and Shell.

In 2005, Frank has followed his wife’s career back to Geneva and set up Earthmind which focuses on the nexus between business and biodiversity. See