Landscape restoration for sustainable economic development
Commonland’s goal is to realize large-scale landscape restoration with local farmers, land-users and experts, based on sustainable business cases. To achieve this goal, Commonland advocates a holistic restoration approach that combines 3 different landscape zones for a period of 20 years, delivering 4 returns. At the moment, Commonland’s 4 returns approach is being practiced by development companies in multiple countries – such as South Africa, Spain, Australia, and the Netherlands – and it holds great potential to be scaled to other regions.
As the social, environmental and economic impacts of landscape degradation, global biodiversity loss and natural resource depletion become more apparent, the need for landscape level restoration is becoming increasingly pressing (Read our “From Challenge to Opportunity” report for clear insights into these challenges). Commonland actively involves investors, companies and entrepreneurs in long-term restoration partnerships in different countries with farmers and land-users. All projects share their approach of “4 returns/3 zones/20 years approach”. Yet, the understanding of Commonland’s 4 returns impact, and the organization’s ability to communicate, improve, and scale their approach, was hindered by the lack of a comprehensive framework. This made it difficult to assess the success and impact of projects.
NewForesight has been assisting Commonland on technical and strategic topics related to their landscape restoration projects and businesses since 2015. We have supported with an investment strategy to identify potentially impactful businesses, and we have also contributed to continuous improvement of their intervention strategy by designing an M&E framework. We are proud to support a young organization with an innovative view and strategy that can change the lives of many people today, as well as securing a green future for all.