Common Earth is a worldwide community supporting efforts to regenerate the wealth of Earth’s commons and meet the 2030 agenda. The global commons are the dynamic, living systems that are the basis of life on Earth. Humanity’s social and economic well-being are dependent on the health of our common land, oceans, and atmosphere. Caring for them properly requires valuing human dignity and understanding that true wealth derives from a healthy biosphere and life web.
Common Earth launched on April 17th, 2018, in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat and Innovation Hub, at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London. Common Earth provides support to the 53 member states to strengthen regenerative efforts around their local regions. Together, the member states represent 2.4 billion people (60% under 30 years old), 21% of Earth’s land mass (spanning Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific), and 78% of the oceans’ exclusive economic zones. The diverse global community of the Commonwealth represents an unprecedented opportunity for transforming innovative ideas into action.
Common Earth emerged from the “Regenerative Development to Reverse Climate Change” initiative organized by the Cloudburst Foundation in October 2016 at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London. Common Earth is a collaboration of innovative practitioners, scientific research institutions, and funding organizations. It provides support to decision makers, communities, and companies across the Commonwealth seeking to meet their commitments to the Paris Climate Accord and 2030 agenda.
Common Earth provides a structure to:
Identify, network, and cultivate the global community of practitioners regenerating the ecological commons
Provide communication platforms and mapping, monitoring, and analysis tools to support and improve the efficacy of regenerative projects.
Direct public and private funds to projects operating systemically and attuned to the unique potential and needs of local contexts.
Members of the Common Earth community harness the potential of the Commonwealth’s unique places, people, and communities. Common Earth supports and develops local capacities and capabilities needed to address the warming climate and other complex global challenges. The community is shifting the current model of sustainability from doing less harm to a regenerative model of doing most good. True wealth is when the world’s resources are managed to promote human happiness, dignity and prosperity for all people and future generations.
Between October 2016 and June 2017, Cloudburst Foundation and the Commonwealth Secretariat held three dynamic and critical convenings at Marlborough House in London. These served to explore how regenerative development frameworks could support and strengthen the Commonwealth’s climate agenda. What emerged from these convenings was Common Earth, a cross-sectoral effort to regenerate the wealth of Earth’s commons across the 53 member states. In 2017 Cloudburst Foundation became an official partner of the Commonwealth to deliver this initiative.
Experts Workshop on Regenerative Development to Reverse Climate Change
London, 28-29 October 2016
This workshop brought together a cross-sectoral community of more than 60 practitioners working to regenerate ecosystems in a variety of ways. Experts from areas such as agroecology, ecological restoration, permaculture, circular economy, regenerative development, biomimicry, and more came together to launch a process of supporting the Commonwealth as a global leader in climate action.
The primary result of the workshop was the consensus that there are proven techniques readily available to regenerate communities and ecosystems, and that many practitioners are already doing this important work across the Commonwealth. The workshop was an important gathering for mobilizing action, and creating strategies for leveraging and scaling ecological regeneration across the 53 member states. The full report from the workshop is accessible here.
High-Level Policy Makers Discuss Regenerative Development in the Commonwealth
London, May 18-19 2017
In May 2017, Cloudburst Foundation and the Commonwealth Secretariat organized a high-level meeting at Marlborough House aimed at building upon the “Workshop on Regenerative Development to Reverse Climate Change.” This meeting brought together policy makers from across the Commonwealth and focused on identifying strategic opportunities and leverage points within critical industries. The 123 participants included HRH Prince Charles of Wales, Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, Former President of Kiribati Anote Tong and the High Commissioners of the Commonwealth.
Various regenerative frameworks and perspectives were presented and the High Commissioners had the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback related to the specific needs and requirements of their regions. One key takeaway from this meeting was that regenerative development is an effective approach to addressing climate change because it harnesses the bio-cultural uniqueness of places around the Commonwealth. Given the diversity of people and places in the 53 member states this was seen as having high potential. The Commonwealth put together a report on the potential of regenerative development which can be accessed here.
Funding Regenerative Development in the Commonwealth
London, June 2017
In June 2017 Cloudburst Foundation and the Commonwealth Secretariat convened more than 50 stakeholders from the international finance community to discuss strategies for funding regenerative projects in the 53 member states. This meeting explored modalities for shifting financial flows to support the health of Earth’s living systems. Importantly participants discussed approaches to creating new investment opportunities that optimize planetary health and work to do most good instead of do less bad—a cornerstone of regenerative development.
Attendees included leaders and representatives from banks, climate finance, and investment groups interested in supporting regenerative solutions to climate change and sustainability. One key takeaway was an agreement that the regenerative development model offers new solutions that can overcome limitations of linear economic and development mechanisms.