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Our commonland

Quick facts

Founded in 2013

Based  in  Amsterdam, Netherlands 2 , 650+ partners connected in their global network

Goal:  transform  100  million  hectares of degraded land into thriving ecosystems, economies and communities by 2040

SDGs  aligned  with  the  4  returns:  2 ,  5 , 6 , 8, 12 , 14 , 15 & 17

Our Commonland Foundation is a not- for- profit organization that works for large-scale landscape restoration. Since the world’ s ecosystems and landscapes are degrading at unprecedented speed, the organization works to build resilient landscapes, restore ecosystems and create regenerative businesses for future generations. Because revitalizing communities and regenerating landscapes offers tremendous opportunities for society and business.

How does the organization address societal challenges in an innovative way?

The organization' s mission is to be an initiator, catalyst, and enabler for large-scale and long- term restoration initiatives to ultimately transform degraded landscapes into thriving ecosystems. To do so the Our Commonland has created a practical holistic framework – the 4 returns. Through the 4 returns framework farmers, landowners, entrepreneurs, communities, nature organizations and legislators are brought together to create real returns on investment per hectare. The international team of specialists helps their partners through support tools, advice, guidance, and a global network to maximize the 4 Returns.

The 4 Returns: 4 Returns is a science-based framework that has been used and proven in practice. It was developed in close collaboration with leading scientific institutes, business schools, farmers, and experts. The 4 Returns framework transforms degraded ecosystems by focusing on 4 key returns over the course of a single generation, or 20 years.

What new urban trades are created in the project?

Our Commonland partners up to develop business cases which are based on regenerative agriculture, agroforestry and rotational grazing. These new businesses or projects then again create new job opportunities in those fields. In 2021 about 350 jobs were created directly or indirectly through the work of our  Commonland. 

What societal benefit does the organization create?

Commonland contributes to long- term and holistic landscape restoration programs and thus works to create a thriving ecosystem, community and economy for everyone. The emphasis on social capital within the 4 returns ensures that all of the projects of Commonland are directed at increasing the overall societal benefit.

What makes the organization particularly interesting as an example?

Our Commonland works as a facilitator for landscape restoration and partners with different organizations to restore landscapes. However, Commonland is not directly involved in the restoration process but rather contributes with its knowledge, tools and networks. The following image explains how the organization works in more detail.

Do you want to learn more about landscape restauration?

On Coursea. Org one can f ind the free online course created by Our Commonland and the Erasmus University  Rotterdam:  “A  Business  Approach to Sustainable Landscape Restoration".

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