An increase of highlights and challenges marked the global environmental agenda of 2018. While we saw growing attention for climate change, the year also proved to be the fourth hottest year in recorded history. The good news is that the “UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021 – 2030” was declared. It aligns closely with Commonland’s focus: how to make large-scale restoration of landscapes possible with local people and through creating new businesses.

“During the last five years we have worked hard on building a ‘proof of concept’ in four large degraded areas in South Africa, Spain, Australia and the Netherlands, and major steps are being taken in the development of 4 returns projects with others in Kenya, Haiti, Congo, Tanzania, Zambia and India as part of our technical assistance program. We are grateful for the extra support of the Dutch Postcode Lottery and the new partnership with the Ikea Foundation that marked this year. And as the years of building ‘the 4 returns proof of concept’ are coming to an end, we are looking towards the future with a new global strategy that will be focused on scaling up the 4 returns, through initiating, catalyzing and enabling others. As this task is too big for only one organization, we will work in close cooperation with others, including our mission partners and as part of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Aware of the huge challenge, we are looking forward to this new period with great optimism, quoting our ambassador John D. Liu: ‘It is the greatest work of our time.’

– Wijnand Pon, Chairman, and Willem Ferwerda, Chief Executive Officer

Find all activities, highlights, and stories of 2018 in our Annual Report here.