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The 4 Returns Framework for Landscape Restoration

The 4 Returns Framework for landscape restoration that is presented here is a practical method that brings people together within landscapes and enables others outside those landscapes to participate. This approach has been tested for many years in several large landscapes and it is now time to present it to the world, to use it, to improve it further, and to co-create a new, shared language for a restoration economy and society.

The 4 Returns Framework is not a utopian dream; it is a practical approach that works in the real world, with real people, within conventional social, corporate and government frameworks. It represents a distillation of wisdom that has been brought together over many years and has been tested in practice. The aim of this report is asking others to join us in using this common language to scale up restoring billions of degraded hectares and together healing the relationship between people and within ourselves.

The 4 Returns Framework connects ecology, community values, spirit and culture, business and long-term economic sustainability at landscape level. It allows government, business and communities to co-create and deliver a common vision for a resilient landscape:

  • It is a conceptual and practical framework to help stakeholders achieve 4 RETURNS (inspiration, social returns, natural returns, financial returns);
  • by following five processes (5 ELEMENTS: a landscape partnership, shared understanding, landscape vision and collaborative planning, taking action, and monitoring and learning);
  • within a multifunctional landscape (3 ZONES: natural, combined and economic zones);
  • with this transformation taking place over a realistic time period (MINIMUM 20 YEARS).
  • The 4 Returns Framework supports achievement of most of the Sustainable Development Goals and is itself based particularly around SDG 17 (building partnerships).

The 4 Returns Framework for Landscape Restoration

The 4 Returns Framework for landscape restoration described in this report is a practical tested system- change framework that can be used by stakeholders to undertake a landscape approach. The framework seeks to balance competing stakeholder demands in a mosaic of different management approaches and business cases, to supply a full range of inspirational, natural, social and economic returns.

It is a valuable tool to achieve the goals of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration to restore the ecosystems of our planet, and heal our relationship with nature. Commonland


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