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The 4 Returns Diagnosis consists of 5 tabs, as you can see below. The first tab gathers some general information about the landscape. The other 4 tabs are about the 4 Returns. It is recommended to do the Returns one by one, and not to cover all in one session. Filling in one return will take about 1 – 2 hours, but it can be shorter or longer depending on how elaborate you want to do the diagnosis and how many resources or stakeholders you need or want to consult. As long as you have an internet connection, your diagnosis is automatically saved. You can close the browser and the 4 Returns platform, and you can anytime reopen it and continue with your diagnosis. Good luck!

A country is a place of origin

Will be shown on the frontpage of the diagnose report

Increased health of ecosystems in the landscape

To assess the natural returns in the landscape, first a few landscape wide aspects will be treated and subsequently characteristics of the main ecosystems and/or land-use types within the landscape will be covered.

This factor concerns the diversity of ecosystems within the landscape, encompassing various natural habitats, communities, and ecological processes. Describe the range of ecosystems present in your landscape to provide insight into its ecosystem diversity.

This factor assesses landscape connectivity and fragmentation, including hydrological connectivity. Hydrological connectivity refers to natural tidal movements and uninterrupted waterways within the landscape. Landscape connectivity, on the other hand, concerns the ease with which species can move between habitat patches, promoting gene flow. This relates to habitat loss and fragmentation, which occur when portions of habitat are destroyed, resulting in smaller, disconnected areas which restricts the movement of species. In the explanation, describe connectivity and fragmentation in your landscape. In the explanation, describe the current state of this factor and any impact that has already been achieved.

This factor assesses the landscape's ability to retain and regulate water flows, including base- and peakflow within watersheds. In an ideal landscape, vegetation and soils effectively function as sponges, facilitating stormwater infiltration to mitigate peakflows and sustain baseflows during dry periods. In the explanation, describe the landscape's ability to retain and regulate water flows. In the explanation, describe the current state of this factor and any impact that has already been achieved.

This factor evaluates whether water supply meets or exceeds demand throughout the year and assesses groundwater stocks. In a healthy landscape, water demand—whether for human consumption, irrigation, industry, or ecological needs—is consistently met without depletion of groundwater reserves. In the explanation, describe the current state of this factor and any impact that has already been achieved.

Most landscapes encompass a mosaic of natural ecosystems and anthropogenic land use types (e.g. croplands). For the purpose of the 4 Returns diagnosis, the natural returns are assessed separately for each of the major ecosystems and land use types that can be distinguished in the landscape, following the IUCN Global Ecosystem Typology. This ecosystem classification framework comprises a nested hierarchy of units, distinguishing Realms, Biomes and Functional groups. Anthropogenically modified ecosystems/ land-use types are also incorporated into this typology. Consider all ecosystems and land use types within your landscapes that cover > 5% (rule of thumb) of the landscape. Create each of these ecosystems below: (Refer to the IUCN Global Ecosystem Typology for more information)

1

This could be the name corresponding Functional group within the selected biome or a (locally used) name that better describes the ecosystem e.g. mangrove forest; rice field, open water). (Multiple ecosystems/land use types within each realm/biome combination can be selected if relevant

This factor is about ecosystem health, or in other words: its level of degradation. Rate how 'healthy' the ecosystem is. In the explanation, you could describe the degree of ecosystem degradation (soil, water, biodiversity), as well as the main drivers of degradation of the ecosystem. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about biodiversity in the landscape. In the explanation, you could describe the abundance and diversity of characteristic species, including Red Listed species" (similar to a reference ecosystem). In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about soil health and soil erosion. In the explanation, you could describe physical, chemical and biological soil health based on pH and macro/micronutrient availability, absence of pollution, water holding capacity, soil compaction, soil organic matter, earth worms and/ microbial activity. For soil erosion, you could describe the presence of gullies, observed erosion signs, and experienced soil losses. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about water quality and hydromorphology. In the explanation, you could describe the presence of characteristic fish, invertebrates and aquatic flora, presence/concentration of pollutants, river bank structure (solid/vegetated?), river continuity (promoted or inhibited?), or substrate of the river bed. You could also describe the degree of sedimentation due to upstream landuse practices, and any other physical, chemical or biological characteristics. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about the current sustainability of food extraction. In the explanation, describe the importance of this biome for food production. For natural ecosystems, you can describe the relative importance as source of food to local communities. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about the current sustainability of wood and other raw material extraction. In the explanation, describe the importance of this biome for the production of timber, wood fuel, gas, oil, medicinal plants, or other resources. (excluding food and freshwater). In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about the level of current carbon sequestration in this biome relative to its potential capacity. In the explanation, describe the potential of carbon stocks in biome relative to their carrying capacity (levels in reference ecosystems), carbon sequestration potential, and the risk of carbon loss by natural and anthropogenic disturbance (threats to carbon stocks). In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

People are inspired, and as a result they feel a sense of purpose and hope for their landscape and future.

Landscape stakeholders being acquainted with restoration or regeneration initiatives or efforts of the restoration practitioner

This factor is about whether people are acquainted with landscape restoration initiatives and challenges. In the explanation, you could describe the general awareness of ongoing restoration projects (e.g. through on- and offline interactions, knowledge sharing taking place, or other communication channels in place), as well as awareness of degradation, knowledge of benefits and opportunities of landscape restoration, and a general broader understanding of the landscape. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about the presence of people that act as inspirators for others. In the explanation, you could describe the number and presence of changemakers (they might also be called restoration champions and could be charismatic people or powerful institutions) that act as inspirators for others, such as decision makers, community members, or farmers. People are considered a 'changemaker' when their actions lead to more awareness and connecteness through their actions, initiatives, messaging, or art work. You could also describe if they are national or local. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about participation of people in the landscape in activities related to landscape restoration. In the explanation, you could describe the events organized by the practitioner to promote and learn about holistic landscape restoration (e.g. festivals, workshops), as well as participation of communities in these events. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about the presence of sources of inspiration such as pilots, demo's, regenerative farms, or other inspiring places. In the explanation, you could describe the number and type of sites (pilots, demo's, farms, etc.) where people in the landscape can visit and experience the effects of restoration and regenerative agriculture. You could also describe whether there is knowledge of the meaning, sources and triggers of inspiration, and to what extent this is translated into actions to increase (inspired) restoration action of local communities. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

The relation people experience with the landscape, other people and the nature that is in the landscape

This factor is about land stewardship. In the explanation, you could describe to what extent people in the landscape are caring for their land, and if people have passion/pride for their landscape and motivation to take care of the land. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about the extent to which individuals include nature as part of their identity and feel connected to nature. In the explanation, you could describe the perception of landscape stakeholders feeling connected with nature. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about the attachment and pride people feel about their landscape. In the explanation, you could describe to what extent landscape stakeholders feel physically and cultural attached to the landscape, how strong the emotional bond between people and the landscape is, whether people are leaving/entering the landscape (description migration patterns), if people experience a sense of belonging, and for example if farms are belonging to the same family for generations. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about whether people in the landscape have a feeling of hope and purpose for the future. In the explanation, you could describe to what extent landscape stakeholders are feeling hope and purpose for the future, if they expect good things of the future, and the future and purpose they see for themselves in the landscape. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about improved mental and physical health of people in the landscape as a result of experiencing restored natural areas (=indirect effect) or a result of participation in restoration activities (= direct effect). In the explanation, you could describe to what extent mental and physical health of people in the landscape has indirectly or directly improved as a result of restoration. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

A change in practices and land use of people in the landscape, related to all practices that affect the environment

This factor is about regeneration support & momentum in the landscape. In the explanation, you could describe to what extent there is (local) support for restoration efforts and regenerative farming, if non-target persons or communities (inside or outside the landscape) are showing interest in adopting improved/sustainable practices, or to what extent land users are piloting with practices of (eco) regenerative agriculture. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about the adoption of improved (eco), regenerative and restorative practices. In the explanation, you could describe the estimated number and background of landscape stakeholders adopting (eco) regenerative and restorative measures, as well as a description of what type of practices are implemented (examples of agricultural practices are: farmers monitoring impact, NTFP harvesting practices, reduced tillage, green cover, sustainable fertilizer, agroforestry, sustainable irrigation, rotational grazing, and biodiversity measures at farms. Concerning other practices: these could be practices at the community level such as forest management plans in development, community area with active soil, water, or biodiversity improvement measures, sustainable extraction of woodfuel resources, or sustainable waste management). In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about non-target landscapes & people replicating initiatives, projects, or practices. In the explanation, you could describe non-target persons / communites (inside or outside the landscape) actually replicating practices, spin-off initiatives, and adoption of tools and methods by others inside & outside the landscape. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

strengthening communities in landscapes by increasing livelihood opportunities and community engagement

Developing and strengthening the skills, abilities, processes and resources of organizations and communities in relation to landscape restoration & the presence of networks consisting of interconnected and engaged people

This factor is about the stimulation, creation or facilitation of networks focused on learning about regenerative/sustainable practices, restoration, learning, or businesses. Examples of such networks could be a farmer’s support network, a community activism network, a regenerative business network, or a network of landscape practitioners - in the form of alliances, coalitions, or collaborations set up with partners. In the explanation, you could describe the type of networks built, and the representation and participation of (local) stakeholders. If available, add the number of members and their background. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about trust and cooperation within existing or new networks. In the explanation, you could describe the perception of network members on trust and connectedness within and between networks - such as business networks or landscape partnerships. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about opportunities to participate in trainings and events offered and the facilitation of knowledge exchange. In the explanation, you could describe the number and type of trainings organised focused on restoration & regeneration (workshops, CoP's, trainings, educational events) and if available the number and background of participants in trainings. You could also describe if peer-to-peer learning is taking place or facilitated. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about the use of local expertise, practices and traditional knowledge. In the explanation, you could describe to what extent local knowledge is being used and build upon within landscape restoration projects. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about research conducted in the landscape & (scientific) restoration techniques applied. If any - please provide an overview of scientific research and peer-reviewed papers that have been published or are soon to be published about the restoration process in your landscape. This can include any research you are currently involved in, have been involved in previously or you simply know of. Also indicate any research that you think is missing, including additional research questions you might have. Lastly, please provide an overview of the collaborations you have with local research groups or institutions.

The sustained ability of a community to utilize available resources to respond to, withstand, and recover from adverse situations.

This factor is about the presence of communities in the landscape and levels of trust and familiarity within or between community groups. Describe if different areas belong to different communities, tribes, or religions and the perception of community members on familiarity and trust. If relevant, describe social cohesion & solidarity, presence of 'socializing places' such as plaza's and community centres, shared resources among communities, strength of social relationships, and collaboration within communities. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about climate resilience and the preparedness of communities for natural disasters. In the explanation, you could describe the perception of community members on preparedness for natural disasters, vulnerability to challenging environmental conditions and climate change, how communites adapt (presence of local risk reduction strategies, crisis events leveraged), and the presence of regulating ecosystem services. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about physical and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food. In the explanation, you could describe the perception of community members about the access to secure and nutritious food, improvements in nutrition, malnutrition and obesity, and the amount of people experiencing food shortage. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about community access to basic services and infrastructure, including relevant and essential ecosystem services such as clean water, air purification and recreational opportunities which contribute to human well-being. In the explanation, you could also describe access to basic services such as primary and secondary schools, clean drinking water, access to safe sanitation (WASH), shelter, healthcare, energy, transportation, housing, and communication, which are fundamental for maintaining a decent standard of living and quality of life. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

Inclusive and diverse participation in activities and fairness in distribution of the benefits of restoration activities

This factor is about the perception of landscape stakeholders on benefits from restoration. In the explanation, you could describe to what extent restoration benefits are shared equally with local commuities and (marginalized) people and to what extent local communities are generally benefitting from restoration (such as food, wood and raw materials, freshwater supply, increased supply of forest products). In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about inclusive and diverse participation in the restoration sector, and whether marginalized groups are represented. In the explanation, you could describe the inclusion and representation of minority groups (youth, women, indigenous people), the perception of landscape stakeholders whether the practitioner is inclusive and responsive in activities, and to what extent there are equal (job) opportunities for community members (age, gender, background). In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about social equity in the landscape and measures implemented to improve social equity. In the explanation, you could describe the measures taken by practitioners to improve social equity (inclusive and diverse participation). These measures could for example be policy influence, governance mechanisms, arrangements and processes supporting benefit sharing. This factor is also about human rights and gender equality. Describe to what extent gender equality and women's rights are promoted, if there's an (increasing) female labour-market participation, if there's (improved) equality in the economic independence of women and men and in decision-making, if gender-based (physical and/or sexual) violence is combatted, and if the UN declaration of human rights is respected: right to live, liberty, free speech, privacy, social security. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about landscape governance. In the explanation, describe the perception of landscape stakeholders on policy inclusivity, coherence and effectiveness of land-use planning & management policies, capacity, institutional functioning, and law enforcement. You could also describe how decisions are made, who participates, and how effectively policies are implemented. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

The provision and quality of paid labour services

This factor is about the creation of jobs in the restoration and regenerative agriculture sector. In the explanation, you could describe the number and quality of direct and indirect jobs supported or created by landscape restoration practices. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about job satisfaction and working conditions. In the explanation, you could describe the perception of job satisfaction and working conditions of people employed in the landscape and farmers reached by the practitioner. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

Strengthened local economy: financial returns are all monetary profit generated by restoration and conservation activities on the longer term, for all stakeholders in the landscape.

Financial gain for households and landusers (farmers, foresters, fishers, tourism, other land use practices etc) from, linked to or as a result of restoration, regenerative and sustainable practice

This factor is about improved income at the household level through restoration or regenerative agriculture. In the explanation, you could describe the adequacy of income, and whether households generally experience an increased income linked to or as a result of restoration, regenerative and sustainable practice. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about the diversity and number of income streams of households, farmers, or community members, and the security of their income. In the explanation, describe if income is drawn from two or more sources to protects people against the loss of your sole job. For example, whether multiple crops are grown and if farming is complemented with other activities such as sustainable tourism. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about household savings. You could describe the household economic vulnerability, if households generally save money and if they're satisfied with their savings, if adults have an account at a bank, and if household savings are sufficient to absorb shocks in our income or expenditure. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

Business profitability relating to size, increased value, assets etc

This factor is about sustainable business cases developed. In the explanation, you could describe the number and type of sustainable/regenerative business cases developed. You could also describe the presence of opportunities to set up businesses (costs and burdens for entrepreneurs), and interest to set up regenerative businesses. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about profitability and resiliency of business cases developed. In the explanation, you could describe gross vs. net profit, expected positive cash flows for matured restorative businesses, and the attractiveness of business cases to investors (reinvestment potential). Concerning business resiliency, you could describe general vulnerability of businesses. Key points include the presence of a business plan to mobilize and coordinate finance from multiple sources (e.g., public-private partnerships, blended finance mechanisms), risk reduction strategies, and the ability of businesses to withstand climate change impacts. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about access to (diverse) financing mechanisms of land users and businesses. In the explanation, you could describe the presence of diverse investment mechanisms such as tax benefits, subsidies, grants, donations, funds, and loan guarantees. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about yield from agricultural enterprises, fishery, forestry, or resource extraction from other land uses. In the explanation, you could describe the quality/extent of yield, net primary productivity, or productivity of land. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about the costs of consumbale inputs (seeds, fertilizers, insecticides) and capital inputs (tractors, machinery, irrigation systems, etc.), and whether land users generally can afford them. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about sustainability of consumable inputs (seeds, fertilizers, insecticides). Describe if there is reduced pesticide and herbicide use, or if consumable inputs are increasingly sustainable. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

Business profitability relating to size, increased value, assets etc

This factor is about total public investments in the landscape. In the explanation, you could describe the presence, extent and diversity of public finance mobilised for the landscape, landscape practitioners, related partners, and businesses (for example tax benefits, subsidies, grants, donations, funds). You could also describe the presence of adversive incentives that promote unsustainable practices. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about total private investments in the landscape. In the explanation, you could describe the presence, extent and diversity of private finance (for example impact investment, grants, donations, funds) mobilised for the landscape, landscape practitioners, related partners or sustainable businesses and products. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about the ability to access (directly or indirectly) innovative finance mechanisms. In the explanation, you could describe the presence and type of innovative mechanisms that provide funds for restoration, regenerative activities and/or sustainable practices. Examples are payment for ecosystem services, carbon credits, biodiversity credits, a margin on regenerative products or price premiums. You could also describe the number of landscape stakeholders that are making use of these new financial mechanisms. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

Exchange of goods and services resulting from restoration, regenerative activities or sustainable practices

This factor is about the development of markets for regenerative products or restoration actitivites. In the explanation, you could describe (new) markets developed for sustainable products, what type of markets these are, the size of these marktes, amount of customers in market, value chain infrastructure, and landscape stakeholders benefiting from increased access to new markets. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about local value added by regenerative and restoration products and businesses. In the explanation, you could describe vertical integration and localization of values chain, added value that is created locally, at the local market (instead of value created by exporting bulk to other markets), and the presence of short chains. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about the presence of all essential actors in the business network/environment. In the explanation, you could describe if there is an 'ecosystem' of businesses including all needed functions such as bankable originating groups, knowledge institutions, impact investing. You could also describe what is missing to have a complete/functioning business network and current collaboration in (regenerative) business networks. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

This factor is about the presence and use of sustainable certification schemes. In the explanation, you could describe the presence of regenerative or sustainable certification schemes, how widely they are applied (are many farmers/hectares certified?), and the value of certified goods on the market. In addition to describing the current state of this factor, you can describe the impact that has already been achieved.

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