Is it possible to have healthy environments and a healthy economy?

Among the grand delusions that we suffer from is the idea that we can have a successful economy, or an undegraded environment, but not both. Our environment is sacrificed in the pursuit of economic progress.

But if we look into our history, we can see that environmental destruction has led to economic and often, societal collapse. Commonland’s document 4 Returns from Landscape Restoration encapsulates our sad history of environmental degradation with examples including the Mayans, Easter Island, Iceland and Dust Bowl last century in the United States.

Commonland recognises the challenge of land degradation and promote 4 returns generated by landscape restoration.

Commonland selects sites for large scale restoration and then creates partnerships with local stakeholders. Injecting capital into degrading landscapes and engaging locals are vital to success in these projects. The projects see improvements in both the environment and the economy and as they suceed, see people moving back in to those landscapes.

Projects so far are in Spain, the Netherlands, South Aafrica and Australia. This video outlines the Australian project as told by their Australian partner, Wide Open Agriculture.

This video was published in 2016. Four years on, Wide Open Agriculture is now listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.

The March 2020 launch of Calm the Farm is a similar venture in New Zealand. Linking up regenerative farmers with capital is a pathway to transitioning all of our farmland to regenerative agriculture.

One thought on “Is it possible to have healthy environments and a healthy economy?

  1. I attended a webinar this afternoon on biodynamics hosted by Taitokerau Timebank ( and featuring biodynamic expert and tutor Rachel Pomeroy ( A participant on the call mentioned “Quorum Sense”, a network led by farmers with the mission to generate and share practical knowledge to support regenerative farm systems and vibrant rural communities: What would be great is if there was one platform to connect all the various initiatives and groups working towards biodynamic, organic, permacultural and regenerative horticultural and agricultural practices – and have our Government invest in a speedy transition to these methods (I note Greenpeace has again this month called on our Government to give meaningful investment support for regenerative farming:, so the idea is gaining momentum – but it still needs to happen faster).


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