A great challenge has come my way. Because starting February 1, 2018 I have become the executive director of the Ecosystem Restoration Camps (ERC) www.ecosystemrestorationcamps.org
As most of my closer contacts know, I became a freelancer a few years ago. I want to combine what I do best in business with my passion. I dream of a world in which more values are important than just money. A world in which people connect to nature and are inspired by her ingenuity and beauty. People will therefore invent products that are compatible with nature’s ecosystems. A world in which people will be able to use their unique talents without burning out. So that we can combine heart, head and hands.
In my new job everything comes together for me. For whomever missed the documentary of John Liu Green Gold in 2012 by Tegenlicht VPRO, please watch it on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=156&v=YBLZmwlPa8A This is mind blowing! The Loess Pateau, an area the size of The Netherlands in China, had become desert-like over time. And in 10 years time the whole area has been regenerated. Thus giving the inhabitants a new lease on life. They build their livelihoods in line with nature now, as we all should do.
Store carbon in soil
There are large benefits when we restore ecosystems: we store carbon in the soil while we make the land fertile again and increase food security. In France there is a movement https://www.4p1000.org/ . It says that if we increase organic matter in the soil worldwide with 0.4% per year, it would halt the increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere related to human activity. Science already has the answers how to do it, so what is stopping us? The techniques are known, the only thing to do is to learn and implement. Just do it!
Learning by doing
The ERC organization was founded last year. It wants to ensure that the knowledge about ecosystem restoration is not stored away in scientific conferences or buried in commercial business cases. This knowledge needs to be used! Therefore ERC builds places where people can learn all about ecological ways of restoration by doing it in practice. We build camps in degraded areas and connect to the local people. Also we invite teachers and students to teach and learn on many different levels. The buildings in the camps will be off-grid and the members of the community will experience living together peacefully with each other and nature. The building of the first camp in Murcia, Spain, is in full progress. And we intend that many more will follow.
Healthy and happy planet
Last year a lot of great work has been done by the pioneers. In the coming years we will build a stable organization that can handle many camps around the world. Also we intend to keep motivation of volunteers high. We will make plans and realize them within budget. In addition we will partner with many organizations that have the same dot on the horizon. Together we can achieve a healthy and happy planet!
Concluding, I am really looking forward to working with the inspiring board, council and partners of Ecosystem Restoration Camps and the great staff and volunteers. And I invite everybody to become a member of this inspiring organization or to donate. Let’s restore the earth together. http://www.ecosystemrestorationcamps.org/product/become-a-member-of-ecosystem-restoration-camps/