A message from John D. Liu, Commonland Ambassador

In 2009 at the Tallberg Forum in Sweden I was asked to speak about  what I had witnessed and documented during the restoration of China’s Loess Plateau beginning in the 1990s. After the speech, Willem Ferwerda, then Director of IUCN NL (IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands), came to me and said; “we need to work together for the rest of our lives”. I said; “OK but it is not long enough”. We immediately began to work together at IUCN and continued when Willem left IUCN to create what has become the Commonland Foundation.

Working together with Willem several influential films have been made including “Hope in a Changing Climate”, “Green Gold – Re-greening the Desert”, “Green Gold II – Re-Greening the Planet” and in new films made in 2019  these findings are featured in “Kiss the Ground” and the PBS/   BBC film “The Age of Nature”. All of these films have an impact on public opinion, on scientific consensus, on public policy and on activities to restore degraded ecological systems.

Commonland has grown and is implementing a number of large scale restoration landscapes initiatives in various parts of the world. Numerous people have been inspired and begun to see that they could have a role in restoration. The Ecosystem Restoration Camps movement that began with the first camp serving Commonland work in Spain with the 4 Returns Landscape Partnership, AlVelAl, has now grow to 23 camps in 6 continents.

We are collectively facing on a planetary scale climate change, biodiversity loss, floods, drought, wild fires, pandemics, inequality, food insecurity, unemployment and the potential of economic collapse. Ecosystem, or as we call it here ‘landscape restoration’, is key to addressing all of the problems that humanity is facing at this time.

As we see fault lines emerging that endanger our peace, our health, our prosperity and ultimately human civilization it is important to learn from efforts that have been grappling with these questions for years and decades. It is clear that the message of hope, renewal and regeneration of natural systems and human society achieved by working in the Common Good is urgently needed and greatly welcomed throughout the world.

In this time of extraordinary change in the world order, Commonland  is a leader in helping to catalyze and manifest ecological restoration and regenerative agriculture everywhere. Commonland’s 4 Returns methodology is designing ways for humanity to ensure the ecological health of the Earth in ways that is fair and sustainable for people and all life.


– John D. Liu Ecosystem

Ambassador Commonland Foundation

Founder Ecosystem Restoration Camps Foundation