Netherlands - Society for the Protection of Birds (VBN)

BirdLife Partner


Founded in: 1899
Members: 153000
Staff: 60
Address: PO Box 925, NL-3700 AX, Boulevard 12, NL-3707 BM, Zeist, NL
Tel/Fax: Tel. +31 30 693 77 99; Fax +31 30 691 88 44
Email: info@vogelbescherming.nl
Web: www.vogelbescherming.nl

Mission of the organisation

"Together for Birds and People". Vogelbescherming Nederland is the Dutch Partner of BirdLife International, a worldwide Partnership of non-governmental conservation organisations that togethers seeks to conserve all wild bird species and the priority sites (Important Bird Areas) and habitats on which they depend. Vogelbescherming Nederland aims, through birds, to help conserve biodiversity and maintain the quality of life on Earth.

Key Activities

  • Vogelbescherming is internationally active for birds and nature in general. Worldwide thousands of bird species and their habitats are threatened. Together with our BirdLife partners from other countries, Vogelbescherming Nederland works on an international level towards structural solutions that are good for both birds and people.

  • Vogelbescherming supports important bird areas in Nederland. Vogelbescherming Nederland focuses on the protection of important bird areas such as Waddensea, IJsselmeer, Delta and several smaller nature reserves that are crucial for the long-term survival of birds. The protection, restoration and management of these areas are a top priority to Vogelbescherming.

  • Vogelbescherming works towards ‘bird-friendly’ countryside. On agricultural pastureland numbers of ‘meadow-birds’ such as  black-tailed godwit, oystercatcher and skylark are steadily decreasing. Through the influence of national policies Vogelbescherming, together with farmers, works towards a turning-point.

  • Vogelbescherming stimulates bird-friendly neighbourhoods and cities. Vogelbescherming stimulates the urban population in creating gardens that are a paradise for birds.  Together with municipality, building societies and builders, Vogelbescherming wants to build or create buildings and neighbourhoods that are bird-friendly.

  • Vogelbescherming speaks out for threatened bird species. Vogelbescherming develops special programmes focussed on bird species that are in serious trouble.  We focus on the protection of bird populations within their natural distribution. For migratory birds this is the entire migratory route: from breeding areas to wintering grounds.

Recent Achievements

  • International campaign for the Westerschelde - Together with other Dutch and Belgian NGOs, Vogelbescherming Nederland is campaigning for the appreciation of the natural treasures of the Westerschelde. This intertidal river system is of great international importance for birds, fish and sea mammals. However, industry and transport interests control the area and ecological values have often been overlooked. In 2013, following strong campaigning from Vogelbescherming, the Dutch government has decided to honour earlier promises to restore and enhance habitat for the benefit of birds.
  • Vogelbescherming Nederland works with farmers towards the protection of a more natural countryside. One of the methods has been our own network of ‘meadow-bird farmers’. These farmers demonstrate that it is possible to run an economically healthy farm while paying attention the birds and other nature in the paddocks. The network continues to grow. In 2012 Vogelbescherming welcomed the 100th farmer.
  • Vogelbescherming Nederland prevented a large fishing permit to commercially fish for smelt in the IJsselmeer, thus preventing the exploitation of the key food source for fish-eating birds such as common- and black tern, cormorant, smew and goosander. 
  • The project ‘Living on the edge’ from Vogelbescherming Nederland and BirdLife International aims at the protection of migratory birds in the Sahel region in Africa.  Closely working with local BirdLife partners and the indigenous people, and financially assisted through contributions from “Nationale Postcode Loterij”, has meant that it is possible to make a real difference for migratory birds in Africa. This has since lead to targeted research, the establishment of sustainable sources of income, a decrease in the hunt for birds, training of local people in the protection and management of birds, and the planting of many thousands of trees.

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