Our vision

To secure our collective future on planet earth, we need to learn to live in harmony with nature.

To do this, we have to change the system – shifting from short-term gains to long-term prosperity. The time has come to move from an economic model that maximises profit at the expense of the environment to one that protects, restores, and strengthens it for future generations. 

Our mission

Since 2013, we’ve been on a mission to make holistic landscape restoration the new norm. To achieve this, we’re working with a diverse range of partners in over 20 countries to facilitate and drive the uptake of holistic landscape restoration on a global scale. Together, we’re aiming to restore 100 million hectares of degraded land by 2040.

History

Willem Ferwerda’s belief that ecology should drive the economy led him to create Commonland in 2013 with entrepreneur Wijnand Pon. An ecologist and conservationist with over 30 years’ experience pioneering innovative, large-scale approaches to ecosystems restoration and conservation, Willem created the 4 Returns framework as a practical tool to restore degraded landscapes at scale, while also providing an income for local communities. Using the IUCN Ecosystem Approach as a reference, he knew that the only way to sustainably protect and restore ecosystems was to make sure it benefitted communities for generations to come.

Partners

We work closely with a growing group of partners on large-scale landscape restoration. From international NGOs and policymakers, to funding bodies, indigenous people, local farmers, universities and media platforms – we believe we need everyone onboard to restore our home planet.

Our people

Restoring 100 million hectares of land is a monumental but achievable task– but only if we act together and act now. Commonland’s international team of farmers, scientists, finance specialists, storytellers, conservationists, facilitators, policy experts, and ambassadors works with partners worldwide to restore landscapes. Learn more about our team members below. 

  • Staff
  • Board

Willem Ferwerda – Founder and CEO

 

Biologist. Expert in tropical ecology, biodiversity and agriculture. Entrepreneur and managing director. Worked worldwide in nature conservation and restoration. Former director IUCN Netherlands and initiator of nature initiatives.

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Willem Ferwerda

Clara Ramschie – Executive assistant

 

After working for a long time in a commercial business industry, I wanted to work for an organisation that contributes to the improvement of our living environment. Surrounded with passionate colleagues I’m learning a lot.

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Clara Ramschie

Mariken van den Boogaard – Director of Development & Communications

 

At Commonland we aim to bring the world of economy and ecology together and create common grounds for common solutions via a common language – this inspires me.

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Mariken van den Boogaard

Jim Mackintosh – Director Landscape Development & Support 

 

I have always been attracted by the interconnectedness of things. At Commonland we try to see and make connections between different worlds, where we can openly and respectfully engage with indigenous leaders, or with farmers, in the same way we would engage with an investor, or the government. Commonland allows me to work in line with my values.

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Jim Mackintosh

Laurens Gomes – Director Landscape Development & Support

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Laurens Gomes

Simon Moolenaar – Director Knowledge, Education & Innovation 

 

I enjoy developing solutions and exploring opportunities to connect economy and ecology together with academia and stakeholders on the ground. Commonland’s holistic approach, sense of urgency and long-term perspective inspire me. It aligns with my values and mission: to care for creation and contribute to restoring landscapes and revitalizing communities.

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Simon Moolenaar

Victoria Gutierrez – Head of Global Policy

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Victoria Gutierrez

Ellie Percey – Landscape Developer

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Ellie Percey

Karlijn Fidder – Labs Coordinator

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Karlijn Fidder

Joanne Pieterse – Impact Manager

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Joanne Pieterse

Milena Engel – Community Manager

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Milena Engel

Eva Cappon – Major Gift Manager

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Eva Cappon

Lily Maxwell – Content Lead

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Lily Maxwell

Bas van Dijk – Landscape Developer 

 

Commonland’s holistic yet pragmatic way of working towards sustainable change excites me. We work with all the different stakeholders in a landscape and focus on building bridges, taking into account the local context and working with them to develop robust solutions that address the issues at their root.

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Bas van Dijk

Dieter Van den Broeck – 4 Returns Labs Manager and Designer

 

We recognise that there are many inspiring people, initiatives and stories doing the work of our time “restoring nature”, whilst we are still missing the large-scale stories. Therefore, we bring people, initiatives and organisations together to create a safe space for them to write their own collective stories of transformation and regenerative impact.

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Dieter Van den Broeck

Kilian Walz – Carbon Project Specialist

 

I am convinced that restoring landscapes benefits people, biodiversity, and the climate. My work at Commonland involves creating a methodology for estimating peat soil carbon emissions in the Netherlands and developing carbon projects for landscape restoration. To successfully restore landscapes, we must improve soil carbon storage, which we link to existing voluntary carbon markets.

Kilian Walz

Maxyne Leermakers – Office Manager

 

Growing up, I was already aware of my environment, what I consumed, and its impact on nature. But unfortunately, hospitality and sustainability are not always aligned, so this is where I felt the need to act and create bridges between our western consumption mindset and taking care of our planet.

Maxyne Leermakers

Jasper Bertels – Landscape Finance Expert

 

My mission is to reconnect man and nature by realising innovative business models supporting conservation and restoration of nature and biodiversity. This is exactly what I do in my role at Commonland by mobilising funding for large-scale landscape restoration initiatives around the world.

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Jasper Bertels

Nadine de Vogel – Sr Communication Manager

 

I believe that ecosystems and communities can only thrive together – hand in hand. I’m passionate and excited about sparking that change: getting others involved in this collective movement and making them aware of the beautiful world we live in!

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Nadine de Vogel

Harma Rademaker – Landscape Manager

 

I like the combination of working with local communities, restoring landscapes and building resilient livelihoods. It brings together every aspect I have worked on in my career. It is rewarding and unique.

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Harma Rademaker

Jacqueline de Ligt – Finance Manager

 

The work and vision of Commonland, and the passion of the people who work for the organisation appeal to me most. And combining finance with a subject that is close to my heart, that’s what drives me.

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Jacqueline de Ligt

Kyra van den Hil – Landscape Developer

 

 I want to contribute to an inclusive regenerative and restorative movement. Where we, humans, will become partners of nature. My work at Commonland allows me to make this contribution.

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Kyra van den Hil

Jeroen Voorhuis – Chief Operations Officer

 

I like business - building strategies - and I love nature. Working at Commonland enables me to combine these interests. Based on a business-model approach, we contribute to changing the world, and we can concretely see the impact we create. Deeply inspiring… it’s what drives me daily in my work.

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Jeroen Voorhuis

Roos van der Deijl – Landscape Learning Developer

 

Commonland’s focus on making a positive impact to our earth, instead of just reducing our negative impacts immediately appealed to me. And the fact that its holistic approach allows for its impact to be long-lasting and large-scale. I really enjoy working with my colleagues and our landscape partners.

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Roos van der Deijl

Pieter Ploeg – Design Strategist and Facilitator

 

My two passions are soil regeneration and participatory processes. Since holistic regeneration of our soils requires collaboration of the whole system I can bring both passions together at Commonland. As we all strive together to reach the (bold) 2040 goal we step into a big responsibility, with the freedom and flexibility to design how to get there.

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Pieter Ploeg

Tessa Snaterse – Donor Relationship Expert

 

What excites me is that the 4 Returns framework provides a common language for farmers, entrepreneurs, communities, investors, funders and governments. Being able to connect these groups and forming partnerships with others will be crucial in achieving our mission.

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Tessa Snaterse

Willemijn de Iongh – Landscape Developer

 

The way Commonland works with and trusts its partners is quite unconventional, in my experience. Our approach is unique: it takes dedication for an organisation to work holistically. Also, the sense of trust allows people to be creative and to give more energy to work.

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Willemijn de Iongh

Anouk Breukers – HR Manager

 

I love working at Commonland because of our green mission and our contribution to make the world a greener place. Also, Commonland is an open-minded organisation with passionate and inspiring people: my colleagues.

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Anouk Breukers

Hicham Daoudi – Head of Carbon

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Hicham Daoudi

Tom Lovett – Content creator

 

Commonland offers a mature approach to landscape restoration. People at Commonland are so passionate about their work. And I really enjoy being a part of that. Here, I can combine my two interests: storytelling and the relation between people and nature.

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Tom Lovett

Alejandro Diaz – Landscape Finance Specialist

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Alejandro Diaz

Rutger Bults – Senior Landscape Developer

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Rutger Bults

Bela Jankovich de Jeszenice

Chair

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Bela Jankovich de Jeszenice

Louise Vet

Deputy Chair

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Louise Vet

John Loudon

Secretary, executive board member

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John Loudon

Gerard van Hengstum

Treasurer

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Gerard van Hengstum

Celine van Asselt

Advisor to the board

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Celine van Asselt

Maas Jan Heineman

General member

Maas Jan Heineman

Stephanie Lohmann

General member

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Stephanie Lohmann