Membership of Dutch private nature conservation organisations, 1989-2015

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In 2015 membership of Dutch private nature conservation organisations still declined, although less than in 2014. Greenpeace had the largest loss (4%). World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is still the largest organisation with 791.500 members, second is Natuurmonumenten (719.014) and third Greenpeace (401.173).

Role of nature conservation organisations

Private nature conservation organisations play a large role in the Netherlands in managing nature reserves and in raising the profile of nature conservation. It would appear that safeguarding nature through acquisition and conservation has the greatest appeals for the general public, as the three organisations that focus on this together account for 86% of the membership of nature-related organisations. Natuurmonumenten and Provinciale Landschappen focus on the acquisition and conservation of Dutch natural areas, while the World Wildlife Fund focuses on global nature.

Membership in 2015

Natuurmonumenten and WWF were financially supported by 9% and 10% of Dutch households, respectively. Provinciale Landschappen was supported by over 4% of Dutch households in 2015. All the nature, environment and animal protection organisations together had over 3.6 million members in 2015. The organisations that focus mainly on nature, 43 of which are included in this study, had more members than the organisations that focus mainly on the environment (14, Greenpeace being the largest) or animal welfare (23 organisations, the largest being Dierenbescherming and the International Fund for Animal Welfare, IFAW).

Membership trends

Membership of the larger nature conservation organisations grew considerably in the 1990s, but this started to change in 2000. The WWF currently has the most members, but lost members in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Between 2002 and 2011 there was a decline in the membership of Natuurmonumenten, it increased slightly in 2012 and 2013 but declined again in 2014 and 2015. Membership of the Dutch bird protection organisation Vogelbescherming and Provinciale Landschappen remained fairly constant since 2003.

Technical explanation

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Reference of this webpage

CBS, PBL, RIVM, WUR (2024). Membership of Dutch private nature conservation organisations, 1989-2015 (indicator 1281, version 13,

) Statistics Netherlands (CBS), The Hague; PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, The Hague; RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven; and Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen.