They provide food, water, clean air, a stable climate, biodiversity, good health, security and happiness. However, one-fourth of the world’s land mass is seriously degraded from centuries of human activity.
Think: deforestation, overgrazing, overexploitation, the building of infrastructure and pollution. In economic terms, this incurs an estimated loss of more than USD 4.3 trillion per year. The good news is that this process can be reversed.
Pauline van der Meer Mohr Former President Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
“Most of the top management journals remain focused on the firm, not the system. It’s essential for managers and academics to take a more systemic approach to landscape restoration, in tandem with the natural sciences and local people.”
Piet Kruger South African farmer
“All people should benefit from restoration of the land, not just the land owners. Everyone.”
Patrick King Regional General Manager Sanlam, South Africa
“Water is a key resource for Port Elizabeth; essential for its people and industrial production. We believe that restoring the degraded landscapes upstream can help us secure that resource.”
John D. Liu Filmmaker
“It’s possible to rehabilitate large-scale damaged ecosystems. So if we can rehabilitate large-scale damaged ecosystems – why don’t we do that?”
Jagdeesh Rao CEO Foundation for Ecological Security, India
“By locating forests, pastures and water bodies within the larger ecological, social and economic context, landscapes open up to meet a range of objectives that could address demands of preservation, conservation and exploitation.”
Keith Bowers IUCN CEM Ecological Restoration Group Lead, Biohabitats
“The 21st century will demand more than conservation, it will require us to invest in ecological restoration. Restoring our degraded landscapes and seascapes will foster long term resiliency, promote economic vitality and cultivate a shared vision for our future.”
Luc Gnacadja Architect, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
“Degraded landscapes are underperforming common assets linked to many development priorities. And landscape restoration successes have often debunked two prevailing myths: that is takes too long and costs too much. Let’s now overcome the hurdles to scaling up and out.”
Carmen Román Reche Managing Director of Crisara (Organic Almonds) and Spanish National Award on "Innovation Excellence in Rural Women", Spain
“If we cannot conceive our natural and agricultural environments as a single unit, as a close symbiotic network where all the pieces fit perfectly together, we must be doing something fundamentally flawed. Each of us should undergo a deep reflection to understand that the only being that is expendable in our planet is the human being.”
Paco Casero Agricultor, Spain (retired president of Asociación Ecovalia for organic growers)
“We require the specialized labor of men and women that work in the fields, because it is them who provide us with our food staples. We must recognize and honor the work of rural people. The quality of our future depends on their good work and on our collective ability to maintain a proper balance with the surrounding natural ecosystems.”
Our holistic restoration approach combines and connects 3 different landscape zones, for a period of 20 years, delivering 4 returns.
Giving people hope
and a sense of purpose.
Bringing back jobs, business
activity, education and security.
soil and water quality.
Commonland works in close cooperation with internationally leading organizations.
In this library you will find a selection of publications and videos that give an introduction to landscape restoration. In addition, it also provides an overview of expert libraries that have compiled a large collection of articles, country reports, maps, books, guidelines and videos related to landscape restoration.
A holistic framework for ecological restoration by people and business for next generations4 returns, 3 zones, 20 years
4 returns from landscape restorationCommonland publication
Biodiversity and ecosystem restoration for sustainable developmentDead planet, living planet
Exploring the safe operating space for humanityPlanetary boundaries
Can we live within the doughnut?A safe and just space for humanity
Restoration ecology: time to roll up our sleevesEcosystem restoration is now a global priority
A Sustainable Development Goal for Rio+20Zero net land degradation
Lessons for existing and emerging initiativesLarge scale ecosystem restoration
TEEB for businessEconomics of ecology & biodiversity
Changes in the global value of ecosystem servicesChanges in global value of ecosystems
Science, business, and practiceRestoring natural capital
Prosperous lands and positive rewards through sustainable land managementThe value of land
Achieving sustainable development through integrated landscape managmentThe little sustainable landscapes book
Public engagement and temporal and spatial scale in a complex social-ecological systemThe role of trust in restoration success
A global assessment for sustainable developmentEconomics of land degradation and improvement
Environmental film maker John D. Liu documents large-scale ecosystem restoration projects.VPRO Backlight Green Gold 1
Ecologist Willem Ferwerda explains how the planet, the environment, and the economy can be restored on the basis of 4 returns.VPRO Backlight Green Gold 2 - Teaser
Environmental film maker John D. Liu demonstrates that it is possible to rehabilitate large-scale damaged ecosystems.Hope in a changing climate - Trailer
Environmental film maker John D. Liu documented the world's largest watershed restoration in China.Lessons of the Loess Plateau
The ELD initiative produced a short information film on the value of soil and the economic impact of land degradation.The value of soil
When land is shared by everyone, who is responsible for its well-being?Land for life award - Foundation for ecological security
This short film explores the rich history, uniqueness and exceptional potential of the Port Elizabeth catchment area.The four returns in the Port Elizabeth catchment area
Laguna Blanca is in the midst of a dramatic transformation from industrial monoculture to organic polyculture.Tompkins conservation, Laguna Blanca
1033 SE Amsterdam
T +31 20 811 66 03
The story behind the Sankofa
The Commonland logo is derived from the image of the Sankofa. This Ghanese symbol represents the importance of learning from the past.
The original symbol shows a bird with its head turned backwards taking an egg off its back. It symbolizes taking from the past what is good and bringing it into the present in order to make positive progress through the use of knowledge.
At the same time the logo can be seens as a "C" representing the name "Commonland" or as a graphic illustration of the world.