The Wildlife Habitat Council launched their new certification program and has unveiled new online resources to facilitate easier-than-ever certification.
A series of seven training webinars from March through early June will help users understand how to use the WHC website to submit Conservation Certification applications.
The certification program is meant to spur change in corporate land management by recognizing action and reporting data to show results.
“With this new structure, we will be able to join the dots of current and future certifications by requiring applicants to submit through a consistent framework that collects data across 25 possible project units, reporting the acts, the objectives, the people and the purpose of the project,” said WHC President Margaret O’Gorman in her blogpost announcing the new program.
A new area of certification recognition within the program is green infrastructure. The WHC certification will now be able to recognize rain gardens, bioswales, and vegetated roofs and walls that exceed regulatory requirements by designing biodiversity into the practices – for example, rain gardens or green rooftops designed for pollinators and stormwater.
All projects submitted for certification “should provide direct benefit to biodiversity.” Other urban-based projects for WHC Conservation Certification, in addition to green infrastructure, include landscapes that feature specialized habitat for pollinators, birds, bats, amphibians, etc.
Among the documentation required for landscape certification are planting plans/designs with plant lists and plant details/wildlife benefits; photographs and documentation of project implementation; maintenance plans and, baseline and ongoing monitoring data/logs showing how the habitat is used by wildlife.
Cost for certification has not gone up with the new program and will remain $1,000 for members; new applicants will also have a $250 application fee. The project certification period is for a minimum of two years, with potential for three years for some projects, according to WHC’s webinar announcing the new program.
January 15, 2016 NewTerrain
WHC Conservation Certification, the new standard for corporate conservation.
Setting the New Standard: Driving Change through Conservation Certification by Margaret O’Gorman, President (September 8, 2015) http://www.wildlifehc.org/setting-the-new-standard-driving-change-through-conservation-certification/