Word of Chairman

Word of Chairman

While writing this preface, COVID-19 is roaming around the world, creating a system impact and tipping points, that we have not seen before in our globalized world.

Being aware that sustainable landscape management is of great importance to find solutions on climate, food and biodiversity-related issues, this crisis has made clear that healthy ecosystems, healthy people and new ways of doing business are intrinsically linked. It’s why regenerative land-use systems combined with nature-based solutions and conservation is the only way forward. We are convinced that we can accelerate this process if we have a common approach that is practical and business-driven in such a way that people understand. The 4 Returns framework on holistic landscape management has this promise.

In 2019, we consolidated our findings, reflected on our learnings and rethought our strategy to identify next steps to scale up our impact. Together with the team and board, we followed a careful process to restate our vision, mission and strategy with the involvement of our landscape partners and expert network. It led to an ambitious mission to realise 100 million hectares under restorative management in 2040  as part of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. We aim to achieve this mission with an improved approach on stakeholder management, business models on regenerative agriculture, forestry and finance along with three ‘scales’ of outreach. To achieve this, the Commonland Team needed a new organisation structure, and a focus on communication, policy, business development and fund mobilisation. It’s why monetising the 4 Returns landscapes became a priority, as those insights are needed to convince funders and investors. The first findings are promising and show that sustainable landscape management is one of the most cost-effective ways to generate more income and reduce climate, ecosystem and social risks.

We will continue on this path and create more partnerships to achieve our mission: to turn degraded and poorly managed landscapes into thriving ecosystems, local economies and communities. The board want to thank the leadership and team, our landscape partners for their efforts to strengthen the organisation and increase impact. A big thanks will go to our supporters, especially the COmON Foundation who decided to increase and continue its support for the years to come, as well as the Dutch Postcode Lottery who doubled their support, and the Ikea Foundation.

We’ve made significant steps this year and are looking forward to a period where we can build further on solving the difficult question of how to create leverage for 4 Returns holistic landscape management for a better world.


– Béla Jankovich, Chairman