Sustainable development

Membership of Dutch private nature conservation organisations, 1989-2020

In 2020 the combined membership of the four biggest nature conservation organisations rose to 1,878,044. This is an increase of 12.8% over the figure for 2019. In 2020 Natuurmonumenten had the most members/donors (761, 301), followed by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) (664,000). The other big nature conservation organisations are the provincial landscape foundations (Provinciale Landschappen) with 302,465 members and Birdlife Netherlands (Vogelbescherming) with 150,278 members.

Memberships in 2020

In 2020 the combined membership of the four biggest nature conservation organisations rose to 1,878,044. Natuurmonumenten is the biggest organisation. In 2020 the membership of this organisation rose by 4.2% over the 2019 figure. Natuurmonumenten is supported by about 9.5% of Dutch households.

The organisation that saw its membership rise the most was WWF, which grew by 170,000 members (a 34% increase over 2019). This substantial increase was due to the fact that not only members who make regular contributions were counted, but also those making contributions in the form of periodic gifts and to one-off campaigns. The memberships of Birdlife Netherlands (6.5%) and the provincial landscape foundations (1%) also grew.

Private nature conservation organisations play a major part in managing nature reserves and protected areas in the Netherlands and in generating public support for nature and landscape conservation. Natuurmonumenten and the 11 provincial landscape foundations focus on the acquisition and management of nature conservation 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 after 2002-2003. From then on WWF and Natuurmonumenten steadily lost members. From 2011 the membership of Natuurmonumenten has been stable and since 2018 has increased again. Since 2007 WWF suffered from a fall in members, but in 2020 there was a sudden uplift in numbers. Memberships of the provincial landscape foundations and Birdlife Netherlands have been fairly stable since 2004.

The Environmental Data Compendium is a partnership of CBS, PBL, RIVM and WUR.