Commonland:
Annual Report 2021

Working towards a landscape restoration economy that benefits all — nature, people, community, and business.

Clearing invasive species.

It may seem counterintuitive, but in the Langkloof an important part of the rehabilitation work is to remove trees from the landscape rather than plant them. Here, plant species from other continents have spread and are now dominating and outcompeting native species. Alien invasive clearing is extremely labour intensive and requires understanding of the local ecosystem. Now, indigenous vegetation is slowly coming back.

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Good for you, good for the planet.

Consumers are increasingly looking for alternatives to healthier food choices that are beneficial for the planet. AlVelAl Foods provides just such an alternative. It’s not only a cooperative to market regenerative products, it’s also a consumer brand offering consumers the opportunity to contribute to the restoration of the Altiplano landscape.

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Danjoo Koorliny Walking Together in Western Australia.

Danjoo Koorliny Walking Together Towards 2029 and Beyond is a bold, long-term, large-scale, Aboriginal-led systems change project to help all of us walk together to co-create a better future for all. “We have our vision set for the next 10 years, and that is to care for everything,” says Noongar Elder and Danjoo Koorliny Co-director, Dr Noel Nannup, OAM.

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Regenerative dairy farming pays its way.

While the ecological case for nature-inclusive farming is well made, transitioning from conventional methods is often perceived as an economic risk. This is why Wij.land worked with NatuurVerdubbelaars and Alan accountants, to research the real costs and benefits of regenerative, nature inclusive dairy farming. The result? It pays off.

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What are the 4 Returns?

Inspiration

Giving people hope and a sense of purpose.

Natural
Capital

Restoring biodiversity, soil, water quality and capturing carbon.

Financial
Capital

Realising long-term sustainable profit.

4 Returns impact

People exposed
to the opportunity of 4 returns landscape restoration
Direct and indirect jobs created and supported
Hectares under direct regeneration/restoration with early ripple effects to 2 million hectares across 4 landscapes
4 returns business cases identified or set up

People exposed
to the opportunity of 4 returns landscape restoration

Direct and indirect jobs created and supported

Hectares under direct regeneration/restoration with early ripple effects to 2 million hectares across 4 landscapes

4 returns business cases identified or set up

Global impact

(data from South Africa, Spain, Australia, The Netherlands)

  • 2021
  • 2020
5,7 million
394
30,400
36
  • 2021
  • 2020
>75,000
People exposed to the opportunity of 4 Returns landscape restoration
100
Direct and indirect jobs created or supported
1,680
Hectares under improved regenerative/restoration management
4
Business cases identified or set up by landscape partners
  • 2021
  • Baviaanskloof
  • Langkloof
  • 1 : 100

10-year ambition:

10,000 people exposed and reached.

10-year ambition:

25 jobs provided and supported

10-year ambition:

32,000 hectares under improved management

10-year ambition:

Improved cost-benefit ratios for farmers active in the Baviaanskloof Devco and Langkloof Honeybush Co.

3,98 M
People exposed to the opportunity of 4 Returns landscape restoration
20
Direct and indirect jobs created or supported
11,300
Hectares under improved regenerative/restoration management
3
Business cases identified or set up by landscape partners
  • 2021
  • Altiplano Estepario
  • 1 : 70

5-year ambition:

10,000+ people exposed to the opportunity of 4 returns landscape restoration, including 400+ community members & 200+ farmers & 10+ inspired initiatives.

5-year ambition:

10,000 ha under regenerative management farming and 20,000 ha positively influenced; 8,000 ha of corridors between 3 parks established reforested successful.

5-year ambition:

500+ AlVelAl members and 100+ farmers participate

5-year ambition:

Increased flow of funds (> 1,000,000 EUR) toward

900,000
People exposed to the opportunity of 4 Returns landscape restoration
>120
Direct and indirect jobs created or supported
16,750
Hectares under improved regenerative/restoration management
20+
Business cases identified or set up by landscape partners
  • 2021
  • Wheatbelt
  • 1 : 240

5-year ambition:

5,000 consumers and 10 farmers participate in new food and farm system.

5-year ambition:

20 trainings or farmer exchange events in collaboration with 5 long- term network partners.

5-year ambition:

Help facilitate ecosystem health regeneration, increased number of hectares under improved management (in WOA’s land portfolio and through collaboration).

5-year ambition:

Create a financially profitable 4Returns
company that can reinvest and diversify regenerative commercial ventures.

800,000
People exposed to the opportunity of 4 Returns landscape restoration
>150
Direct and indirect jobs created or supported
620
Hectares under improved regenerative/restoration management
5
Business cases identified or set up by landscape partners
  • 2021
  • Peat Meadows
  • 1 : 20

5-year ambition:

1 million+ people inspired, 70 farmers participated in the initiative, 70 inspiring videos on regenerative practices.

5-year ambition:

1,000 ha under improved management practices, plus 250 ha of natural zones improved.

Global impact

People exposed
to the opportunity of 4 returns landscape restoration

5,7 million
  • 2021
  • 2020

Direct and indirect jobs created and supported

394
  • 2021
  • 2020

Hectares under direct regeneration/restoration with early ripple effects to 2 million hectares across 4 landscapes

30,400
  • 2021
  • 2020

4 returns business cases identified or set up

36
  • 2021
  • 2020

2021 South Africa

  • Baviaanskloof
  • Langkloof
  • 1 : 100

People exposed
to the opportunity of 4 returns landscape restoration

>75,000
People exposed to the opportunity of 4 Returns landscape restoration
  • 2021
10-year ambition:

10,000 people exposed and reached.

Direct and indirect jobs created and supported

100
Direct and indirect jobs created or supported
  • 2021
10-year ambition:

25 jobs provided and supported

Hectares under direct regeneration/restoration with early ripple effects to 2 million hectares across 4 landscapes

1,680
Hectares under improved regenerative/restoration management
  • 2021
10-year ambition:

32,000 hectares under improved management

4 returns business cases identified or set up

4
Business cases identified or set up by landscape partners
  • 2021
10-year ambition:

Improved cost-benefit ratios for farmers active in the Baviaanskloof Devco and Langkloof Honeybush Co.

2021 Spain

  • Altiplano Estepario
  • 1 : 70

People exposed
to the opportunity of 4 returns landscape restoration

3,98 M
People exposed to the opportunity of 4 Returns landscape restoration
  • 2021
5-year ambition:

10,000+ people exposed to the opportunity of 4 returns landscape restoration, including 400+ community members & 200+ farmers & 10+ inspired initiatives.

Direct and indirect jobs created and supported

20
Direct and indirect jobs created or supported
  • 2021
5-year ambition:

10,000 ha under regenerative management farming and 20,000 ha positively influenced; 8,000 ha of corridors between 3 parks established reforested successful.

Hectares under direct regeneration/restoration with early ripple effects to 2 million hectares across 4 landscapes

11,300
Hectares under improved regenerative/restoration management
  • 2021
5-year ambition:

500+ AlVelAl members and 100+ farmers participate

4 returns business cases identified or set up

3
Business cases identified or set up by landscape partners
  • 2021
5-year ambition:

Increased flow of funds (> 1,000,000 EUR) toward

2021 Australia

  • Wheatbelt
  • 1 : 240

People exposed
to the opportunity of 4 returns landscape restoration

900,000
People exposed to the opportunity of 4 Returns landscape restoration
  • 2021
5-year ambition:

5,000 consumers and 10 farmers participate in new food and farm system.

Direct and indirect jobs created and supported

>120
Direct and indirect jobs created or supported
  • 2021
5-year ambition:

20 trainings or farmer exchange events in collaboration with 5 long- term network partners.

Hectares under direct regeneration/restoration with early ripple effects to 2 million hectares across 4 landscapes

16,750
Hectares under improved regenerative/restoration management
  • 2021
5-year ambition:

Help facilitate ecosystem health regeneration, increased number of hectares under improved management (in WOA’s land portfolio and through collaboration).

4 returns business cases identified or set up

20+
Business cases identified or set up by landscape partners
  • 2021
5-year ambition:

Create a financially profitable 4Returns
company that can reinvest and diversify regenerative commercial ventures.

2021 The Netherlands

  • Peat Meadows
  • 1 : 20

People exposed
to the opportunity of 4 returns landscape restoration

800,000
People exposed to the opportunity of 4 Returns landscape restoration
  • 2021
5-year ambition:

1 million+ people inspired, 70 farmers participated in the initiative, 70 inspiring videos on regenerative practices.

Direct and indirect jobs created and supported

>150
Direct and indirect jobs created or supported
  • 2021
5-year ambition:

1,000 ha under improved management practices, plus 250 ha of natural zones improved.

Hectares under direct regeneration/restoration with early ripple effects to 2 million hectares across 4 landscapes

620
Hectares under improved regenerative/restoration management
  • 2021

4 returns business cases identified or set up

5
Business cases identified or set up by landscape partners
  • 2021

Landscape Developments

"Nature is anti-polarisation - everything works together"
- Bela Jankovich

The Ukraine conflict demonstrates how polarisation continues to dominate as a destructive force worldwide. Nature, however, is anti-polarisation – everything works together. We see this clearly in our landscapes where farmers and experts, community organisers and business people are able to unite across many differences to share the same vision for the land.

Béla Jankovich read more

As part of nature-based solutions, Commonland’s founding purpose was to create an action driven common language and practical structure to unite groups with distinct holistic landscape management and restoration agendas. We now have evidence that this language and systematic approach works.

Willem Ferwerda read more

Since it was founded, Commonland Foundation has shown that it is possible to restore ecological function worldwide by creating meaningful, satisfying work that serves the common good. Imagine if all the people on Earth had meaningful work that enhanced the fertility and moisture in the soil, was massively productive and increased rather than decreased biodiversity.

John D. Liu read more

How we work and thrive together?

From broken to bountiful in 20 years - for people, communities, business and our planet. Our solution: design and demonstrate a practical approach for long-term holistic landscape management and restoration that serves nature, people, community and business. Read more about how we work and thrive together.

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Commonland brings a holistic approach to landscape restoration. Our international team of specialists offers our partners a wide range of support tools, advice, guidance and global network to maximize the 4 Returns framework at scale. Read more about our key areas of activities.

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Sustainable Development Goals

The 4 Returns are addressing
all Sustainable Development Goals

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by all UN member states in 2015, acknowledge that an end to poverty and a better life for Earth’s peoples go hand-in-hand with protecting our ecosystems.

There are nine SDG’s that align directly
with our 4 Returns, 3 Zones, 20 Years
approach.

Besides SDG’s 13, 14 and 15, Natural Capital logically contributes to SDG 2, 5, 6, 8, and 12.

SDG 17 ‘Building partnerships’ is the conditional key to make holistic landscape management successful as it creates local landscape partnerships and global partnerships of funders, investors, policy and science.

We do this through the Theory U, adapting the methodology to holistic landscape management in close collaboration with the Presencing Institute. This stakeholder mobilisation approach, opens up minds, hearts, and efforts, thus fostering one shared vision, bottom-up change and leadership.

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The 17 Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by all UN member states in 2015, acknowledge that an end to poverty and a better life for Earth’s peoples go hand-in-hand with protecting our ecosystems.

There are nine SDG’s that align directly
with our 4 Returns, 3 Zones, 20 Years
approach.

Besides SDG’s 13, 14 and 15, Natural Capital logically contributes to SDG 2, 5, 6, 8, and 12.

SDG 17 ‘Building partnerships’ is the conditional key to make holistic landscape management successful as it creates local landscape partnerships and global partnerships of funders, investors, policy and science.

We do this through the Theory U, adapting the methodology to holistic landscape management in close collaboration with the Presencing Institute. This stakeholder mobilisation approach, opens up minds, hearts, and efforts, thus fostering one shared vision, bottom-up change and leadership.

read more

Meet our team

“It was a gift to spend a week with the team on Theory U. I felt more connected to my colleagues when I got to know more about their personal stories, backgrounds, insecurities and experiences. We met each other in a more relaxed and personal setting compared to the ‘online’ and ‘professional’ setting we were used to (due to Covid). I believe we have made our 'internal soil' more solid and resilient.” -Anouk Breukers, HR Manager

“Both the Mountain Trail on the Return of Inspiration and diving deeper into Inspiration by designing a pilot to define and measure Inspiration in India were very inspirational in itself. It proved that Inspiration remains a key driver (and sometimes hidden treasure) for our work.” -Simon Moolenaar, Director Knowledge, Education & Innovation

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Thank you!

As this annual report has shown, we’re in this together – for the long run. Because of the continual trust and long-term support of (cornerstone) funders, landscape and institutional partners, and Commonland colleagues, we’re able to invest time, expertise and resources to build the relationships that lead to large-scale, durable impact. We deeply appreciate your support and commitment. 

 

Thank you!

 

Read more about our supporting partners here