About this Course
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Subtitles: English

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Beginner Level


Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

3 hours to complete

The business potential for Integrated Landscape Management and Restoration

This course is developed by ENABLE – which stands for European Network for Advancement of Business and Landscape Education. The objective of this course is to educate you about the role of business in landscape management and restoration and, vice versa, about the role of healthy landscapes for sustainable businesses. To accelerate integrated landscape management and large-scale business driven landscape restoration we need passionate professionals and practitioners. We will challenge you to become a professional who is not afraid to work as a game-changer in transformative collaboration aiming at landscape management and restoration. In this first video Simon Moolenaar from Commonland will give you an overview of the content and skills you can expect to learn about in each week, and what you can aim to take away at the end of the course. Simon will introduce you to one of the principal concepts of this course; landscape degradation and the scale of this problem globally. He will then show you the many dimensions there are to the relation between landscapes and businesses. Specifically, he will illustrate how there is both an economic cause for landscape degradation but also an economic logic to the solution – business-driven landscape restoration. You will be introduced to the Land Degradation Neutrality target which is one of seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations. Simon will explain how the SDGs can be used to raise awareness and mobilise the private and public sector for action. Another tool for landscape restoration you will learn about is the 4 returns framework developed by Commonland. This framework is about large-scale landscape restoration with 4 returns on investment: return of inspiration, return of natural capital, return of social capital and return of financial capital. We will then return to this framework and explore it in greater depth in the fourth week of the course. Let's get started!

9 videos (Total 68 min), 2 readings
9 videos
Meet Simon Moolenaar31s
General Introduction to ENABLE and course6m
Land degradation12m
Land degradation neutrality8m
The potential for large-scale landscape restoration12m
A role for business in landscape restoration9m
General introduction to the 4 returns approach7m
Deep dive into the 4 returns approach8m
2 readings
Glossary for the Course10m
Week 1 Required Readings45m
3 hours to complete

Land degradation and restoration of degraded ecosystems

Now that you have seen how important it is to restore degraded landscape you might ask yourself – how do I go about doing that? How do I even know if a landscape is degraded or not? How much can I expect to restore? What is it exactly in the landscape that we are restoring? You need to be able to answer these types of questions before you even start thinking about making a cost-benefit analysis or calculating a loss-profit statement for a restoration project. In the upcoming videos you will learn how to recognise healthy landscapes from degraded ones, and the types of interventions needed to recover degraded ecosystems. It is essential to have a good grasp of the natural processes of the land in order to be able to make decisions as an investor, business manager, or employer that maximise the impact of every dollar invested in restoring a landscape.

10 videos (Total 78 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
10 videos
Meet Johann Thorsson35s
Meet Asa L. Aradottir36s
Ecosystems, Sustainable Development and SDGs14m
What is Land Degradation and how does it affect Ecosystems?12m
Land Potential: What our land can do9m
Land Condition: The state of the land13m
What is Ecological Restoration?10m
How to restore land12m
Keeping Ecosystems Healthy - it is simply a matter of having a future2m
1 reading
Week 2 Recommended Readings1h
1 practice exercise
Multiple Choice Practice Quiz30m
2 hours to complete

Economics of land degradation

How much is a plot of land worth? Is it worth as much as the crops grown on it? Is it worth as much as the next farmer is willing to pay for it? Who incurs the cost of damages to the land? What if you asked yourself this question: "What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?” If you knew you could never see a plot of land again, would its value change? Rachel Carson, a pioneer of the global environmental movement, posed these questions to the readers of her ground-breaking book Silent Spring, encouraging them to open their eyes to the rampant problem of degradation of the natural environmental happening all around us. The world of business thrives on quantifying just about anything. If we want to make landscape restoration a financially sustainable activity then we need economic valuation methods to put a price tag on both the value of landscapes and ecosystem services, as well as on the cost and foregone revenues from landscape degradation. In this week, we will build on what you learned last week about the natural aspects of landscapes – to learn how to calculate the potential savings we can make by avoiding further degradation and the profits we stand to make from restored landscapes.

7 videos (Total 59 min), 1 reading
7 videos
The value of land and economic valuation methods12m
The business case for sustainability10m
How to assess the economics of land management? The ELD 6+1 methodological approach7m
Basics of Cost-Benefit Analysis and scenario development11m
Interview with Ivo Mulder, REDD+ Green Economy Advisor for UN Environment7m
Interview with Robert Costanza, Professor and Chair in Public Policy, Australian National University8m
1 reading
Week 3 Recommended Reading1h
4 hours to complete

Commonland projects: process, team-roles and skills involved

In this week, you will learn about a way of approaching landscape restoration projects involving business, termed the 4 returns approach. We will travel to the Commonland projects in South Africa, Spain, Australia, and The Netherlands to hear from farmers and business developers how degraded landscapes can be restored while simultaneously creating sustainable businesses that generate employment and income for local communities. Through these examples you will learn what kind of roles are involved and what skills are needed to initiate and carry out this kind of restoration projects. Moreover, you will learn what kind of stakeholders to involve in a landscape restoration partnership and which phases a 4 returns restoration project goes through. We hope that these vivid examples of real-life restoration projects serve as a jumping board for you to play your own role in such a project.

8 videos (Total 69 min), 1 reading
8 videos
General process description (part 1)7m
General process description (part 2)4m
Commonland Case Study: South Africa12m
Secondary Effects of the Commonland Project in South Africa8m
Commonland Case Study: Spain13m
Commonland Case Study: Australia11m
Roles and skills in landscape restoration projects11m
1 reading
Learn more about the Commonland approach and projects3h
6 ReviewsChevron Right


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Top reviews from A Business Approach to Sustainable Landscape Restoration

By PKOct 21st 2017

The course is very useful to learn about the learn degradation and ecosystem restoration, however, regarding ecosystem services it needs much contents too for to be a successful professional.



Simon W. Moolenaar

Dr. ir.
Commonland Foundation, Science & Education

Rob van Tulder

Prof. dr.
Department of Business-Society Management, Rotterdam School of Management

Johann Thorsson

United Nations University Land Restoration Training Programme & Soil Conservation Service of Iceland

Nicola Favretto

University of Leeds; United Nations University Land Restoration Training Programme

Ólafur Arnalds

United Nations University Land Restoration Training Programme & Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Agricultural University of Iceland

Asa L. Aradottir

United Nations University Land Restoration Training Programme & Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Agricultural University of Iceland

Steve Kennedy

Associate Professor
Rotterdam School of Management

About Erasmus University Rotterdam

Erasmus University: a top-100 ranked international research university based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Our academic teaching and research focuses on four areas: health, wealth, culture and governance. Erasmus University Rotterdam: make it happen. ...

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