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Talkin’ about regeneration

Sustainable practices can prevent the destruction of ecosystems. Regenerative approaches can restore land — and communities — that are already degraded.

Take a look at Ejido Verde, an initiative in the Mexican state of Michoacán. An ejido is a piece of communally farmed land, and the green enterprise is turning once-degraded lands into pine forests. With 3,000 of a planned 24,000 acres under cultivation, the trees produce resin for export, mitigate climate change and generate wealth for the indigenous Purhépecha community. The firm is expected to deliver an estimated 13% internal rate of return to its investors.

In a UNDP blog post, Massimiliano Riva and Mariana Bellot of the United Nations Development Project, and Kevin Jones of SOCAP tout Ejido Verde as a prototype of a regenerative approach that can reverse degradation while providing long-term revenues for marginalized communities.

SVX Mexico, an impact-investing consulting firm, and UNDP’s Biodiversity Finance Initiative, have identified 30 companies in Mexico, including Ejido Verde, that are working in agriculture, forestry, fishing, cattle ranching, tourism and smart cities. “We are taught of economics as a system based in scarcity, where individuals need to compete for resources,” Laura Ortiz of SVX Mexico, told ImpactAlpha. “For the regenerative economy we need to learn about the paradigm of unity, where the economic system is based on abundance.”

Learn more about Ejido Verde and other regenerative models at Regen18 in May in San Francisco. Organizers of the four-day festival include Kevin Jones, Rosa Lee Harden and Tim Freundlich, all co-founders of SOCAP, and author and activist Marc Barasch.

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