Paving the way for the Regeneration Generation.

Introduction of the November edition of Commonland’s Newsflash

by Willem Ferwerda, CEO Commonland.


Despite the dramatic impact COVID-19 has on the lives and the economic survival of millions of people, the pandemic is increasingly paving the way for the 'Regeneration Generation'. Across the globe, the public debate is turning towards the commons: the need for better healthcare, healthy food, better education and the protection and restoration of our life support system: biodiversity and ecosystems. Fueled by fires and climate change, biodiversity finally is being placed higher on the agendas of governmental organisations such as the UN, international organisations such as the World Economic Forum, and private companies. As Commonland, we are playing our role in this rapidly growing movement of doers, farmers, conservationists, financiers, influencers, scientists and policymakers. It is our ambition to create scale by using the 4 Returns framework to facilitate system change at the landscape level. The success of the first regenerative food brand in Australia, Dirty Clean Foods of our 4 Returns partner Wide Open Agriculture, is just one of these positive developments. It remains critical that landscape partners find each other in a common approach and language that help to build the upcoming restoration industry. We need a framework that addresses all stakeholders. That's why we are partnering with other lead organisations, in the 1000 Landscapes for 1 Billion people, the Trillions Trees Initiative and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Furthermore, we consider the carbon market an opportunity to support holistic landscape restoration and management. To enable this, we will soon roll out a strategy with a group of aligned partners. From an organisation perspective, we've been entering a new phase of upscaling and hiring new colleagues. Two colleagues have decided to pursue their careers elsewhere in the sustainability movement. Michiel de Man, co-director of the Commonland Company, who has been with us from the beginning, has moved on to work as sustainability advisor at Planet B.io. We have also said goodbye to Caroline van Tilborg, our other co-director of the Commonland Company. She will join the HSBC and Pollination Group joint venture to set up a Natural Capital Fund and a Carbon Fund. Both have contributed to getting us to where we are now, and I am extremely thankful for what they've brought to our team! Finally, we should not forget that COVID-19 is increasingly impacting our work on the ground. We cannot meet our colleagues in the field, and lockdowns challenge many of them. By taking care of each other, I am convinced that we will be able to continue our path with more energy and focus. I hope this newsflash inspires you and gives you a snapshot of how we do this.