Unsustainable land practices, overgrazing, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, climate change and unpredictable weather patterns are challenging India’s ecological foundation and ecological resilience. Up to 80% of India’s land mass or about 97 million hectares of land are degraded. In order to fight further landscape degradation and poverty and in order to bring back ecosystems, India is trying to restore 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030.
Together with the Indian government, Samerth, The Nature Conservancy India (TNC-India), The IKEA foundation, and Commonland, the 4 Returns Approach will help restore large-scale landscapes in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh. Chhattisgarh is one of India’s most forested states, with many rivers and local tribes. Their knowledge of the forest and the forest itself is vital in restoring the landscapes. Together with the forest departments, tribal communities, rural farmers and local business, the project aims to create a common vision, to restore land, improve livelihoods, co-create a market that will sustain livelihoods, inspire and foster long-lasting relationships.