The UN declared, on March 1, 2019 the decade of Ecosystem Restoration with the aim to massively scale up the restoration of degraded and destroyed ecosystems as a proven measure to fight the climate crisis and enhance food security, water supply and biodiversity. The degradation of land and marine ecosystems undermines the well-being of 3.2 billion people and costs about 10 percent of the annual global gross product from the loss of species and ecosystem services. The work of Ecosystem Restoration Camps has never been more relevant, and will continue to be so in the years ahead.
In 2018, Ecosystem Restoration Camps spent considerable time and attention on developing a strategy for scaling and building the core team. With two new additions to the Executive Board, we now have a strong and dedicated team in place. Our first project in Spain has shown tremendous progress. After just two years, the positive effects on the land and its communities have become clear. Local farmers are approaching us actively to help them restore their lands. Our story has reached (and inspired) thousands of people all over the world through the work of journalists and filmmakers. And by coorganising the first Re-Generation Festival we put smiles in the hearts of locals and festival goers, by showing that regeneration is not only desperately needed but also an inspiring heartwarming and a merrymaking co-creation activity.
I thank Marieke Karssen and Desiree Driesenaar, who consecutively, led our foundation through its startup phase. I am hopeful that our current directors, Pieter van der Gaag and Jan Hein van der Hoeven can now take us to the next level where we can grow our membership, our resources and our impact around this planet.
Volunteers are at the heart of Ecosystem Restoration Camps and without their efforts we can never be successful. Therefore, I would like to make use of this report to thank all of the amazing people that have contributed to the work of Ecosystem Restoration Camps. We all do this together and that makes me proud of you! Thank you.
I finally take the opportunity to thank all our members and donors who are, through their generosity and belief, turning this great idea into an even greater reality. We now look towards 2019.
I invite you to join us, or if you are already part of our movement, to continue your support. Our ambitions remain global. The planet is our home, our only home. We therefore need to involve all who can and who are willing to contribute to what John D. Liu calls “The Great Work of our Time.”
Brussels, March 28, 2019
On behalf of the Supervisory Board,
François De Keuleneer
Chairman Supervisory Board