4 returns, 3 zones, 20 years – A holistic framework for ecological restoration by people and business for next generations



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Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

Author Willem Ferwerda

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4 Returns, 3 Zones, 20 Years: A Holistic Framework for Ecological Restoration by People and Business for Next Generations deals with the critical importance of healthy ecosystems and the opportunities for business to restore degraded landscapes in partnerships, while taking into account four returns: of financial capital, social capital, natural capital, and return of inspiration.

This paper is about hope and the potential for humans to address one of the most challenging issues of today: the degradation of natural ecosystems and the depletion of agro-systems, together called mosaic landscapes. Indeed, greater awareness and understanding is growing among strategic decision makers in government, business, science, and civil society that the current global economic turmoil is rooted in unsustainable production and consumption practices combined with an increasing and more demanding population.
Just as we now recognise that our activities are a major cause of the environmental problems associated with the age, we also have a key role in positing the solutions necessary to reverse the damage done. Insights and personal experiences from specialists and local people in ecology, agriculture, economics, sociology, business, governance and finance have all contributed to this paper.

It is written by Willem Ferwerda, executive fellow Business & Ecosystems at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, founder and CEO of Commonland, and thematic group leader Business & Ecosystems of IUCN CEM.

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