mission in the landscape
Wij.land promotes a healthy and resilient peat meadow landscape where agriculture and nature come together in sustainable business models. Wij.land works together with farmers, nature organisations, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders on the transition to a 4 returns landscape. Much of this work occurs through enabling farmers to test out new ideas in pilots and then helping them to deploy those pilots at the larger scale. Wij.land believes that it all begins with inspiration, listening to the ideas and advice of the people in the region.
Typical for Holland, peat meadows are home to cows, windmills and (migrating) bird populations. However, the intensification of farming activities, systemic drainage and dewatering have put Holland’s western peat meadows under threat. Biodiversity is declining, soils are subsiding, large amounts of carbon are emitted and farmers are struggling to make a living. Wij.land wants to turn this around, creating a landscape that is becoming healthier each day. With balanced soils; meadows and water bodies full of life; and happy farmers.
our 2019 milestones
5 year ambition: 1 million+ people inspired, 70 farmers participated in the initiative, 70 inspiring videos on regenerative practices
Year 3: In 2019, Wij.land exposed 200,000 people to their work, 58 farmers are actively participating, and 18 regenerative practice videos have been created.
5 year ambition: 1,000 ha under improved management practices, plus 250 ha of natural zones improved
Year 3: In 2019, another 150+ ha was put under improved management, making 560 ha under improved management. On a total of 66 ha of natural zones have started improved management with soil amendments & vegetation scans to be used in research going forward.
5 year ambition: 70+ farmers active in 100+ pilot activities, 5 farmers transition to regenerative farms & 3+ community activities organized
Year 3: In 2019, 58 farmers are experimenting on their farms with 70 pilot activities. 4 farmers have ‘nature farm plans’ though the transition is a learning process and community activities have not yet been implemented.
5 year ambition: 10 ‘4 returns business cases’ tested & validated, of which 2+ are profitable, plus 5 funders actively engaged
Year 3: In 2019, 7 «4 returns» business cases were in development, all in a start-up phase. Currently, there are 4 public and private funders actively engaged
Commonland and the 4 returns®
Wij.land is founded by Commonland, an international organisation based in The Netherlands. Commonland restores landscapes with local partners (such as Wij.land) and revives surrounding communities through developing business cases that yield 4 returns®: return of inspiration, return of social capital, return of natural capital and return of financial capital.
Wij.land now acts as a separate legal entity, but we continue to collaborate very closely with Commonland and our work is based on the 4 returns® philosophy. For the Dutch landscape, this means an approach that yields:
return of inspiration
the Dutch landscape as a source of inspiration
return of social capital
farmers as essential partners for food and landscape
return of natural capital
return of financial capital
sustainable business cases for entrepreneurs