Environmental Data Compendium
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Sustainable development

Membership of Dutch private nature conservation organisations, 1989-2016

In 2016 the combined membership of the four biggest nature conservation organisations declined slightly. For years the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has had the largest membership (760,000), followed by Natuurmonumenten (719,802). Provinciale Landschappen were the only one of the four organisations to see a substantial growth in membership in 2016, rising to 316,500 members.

Membership in 2016

In 2016 the combined membership of the four biggest nature conservation organisations declined slightly to 1,938,054. Most of the reduction of about 30,000 members was due to losses from WWF. WWF and Natuurmonumenten are supported by 10% and 9% of Dutch households. In 2016 Provinciale Landschappen had the support of about 4% of Dutch households.
Private nature conservation organisations play a major part in managing nature reserves and protected areas in the Netherlands and in generating support for nature and landscape conservation. Natuurmonumenten and the twelve Provinciale Landschappen societies focus on the acquisition and management of natural areas in the Netherlands, while WWF focuses on global nature conservation.

Membership trends

Membership of the larger nature conservation organisations grew considerably during the 1990s, but this trend changed in 2002. Since then Natuurmonumenten steadily lost members, but from 2012 the average rate of decline in membership has been much slower. WWF membership only started to decline in 2008 and in 2016 the rate of decline increased. Membership of Provinciale Landschappen, on the other hand, increased again by a few per cent in 2016. Membership of Vogelbescherming has been declining since 2013.

Limited data available for 2016

The only membership data available for 2016 are for the four biggest nature conservation organisations.

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