That the world’s landscapes and ecosystems are degrading at an unprecedented pace is beyond question. The current economic system has failed, leading to massive extinction of species and creating enormous financial gains at the expense of nature, communities and other public goods and services. Commonland created a practical, science-based 4 Returns framework to bring clarity to the complex world of the revitalisation of large landscapes and ecosystems.

From this experience, Commonland is convinced that a long-term and systemic approach to landscape restoration can generate monetary value for multiple stakeholders at the same time. While the impact organisation believes in an inclusive economic model that is restorative as opposed to exhaustive, they need to build a bridge between the current economic system that has caused the problem and a restorative future. To build this bridge, Commonland worked with KPMG, who speak the language of the current financial and economic system and are thus well placed to translate Commonland’s approach into a method and language that the financial and business world understands.

This publication introduces a comprehensive method developed by Commonland and its partners together with KPMG to calculate the value of financial, natural, social and inspirational returns (4 Returns) of landscape restoration and sustainable landscape management. The preliminary method was developed using seven years of field work experience on one million hectares of degraded steppe called the Altiplano Estepario in Southern Spain.

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