New models for generating revenue are needed if restoration and rewilding are to be achieved at scale. Current levels of philanthropic and government funding are clearly insufficient. Companies have recently committed billions of dollars for nature-based solutions, but little is reaching the ground. This is largely because they are reluctant to invest in projects where the systems are overly bureaucratic, and the success or failure cannot be reliably measured. We are combining the NATURAL STATE Dashboard with with clear standards as well as streamlined certification and verification processes to increase efficiency and transparency while reducing costs. We believe this will transform the restoration of carbon markets, unlocking billions of dollars to help restore the natural world.
Governments and the private sector have pledged billions of dollars to catalyse nature-based solutions and support the transition to a new Green Economy in Africa, with the aim of providing jobs, protecting biodiversity and addressing climate change. There is now great demand for large-scale nature and carbon restoration projects, but there is a lack of training opportunities to grow the skills necessary to implement, monitor and lead such initiatives. As a result, the sector is not scaling fast enough to meet the climate and biodiversity crises, and most efforts are foreign-owned and managed with limited training available to nationals to take on leadership roles. Further, many of these new jobs will be in the area of science, technology and other sectors which have traditionally had low female representation, with the result that - if the status quo is maintained - this economic transition will largely exclude women.
By launching the Restoration Accelerator hub in Kenya, NATURAL STATE, the Wildlife Research Training Institute of Kenya (WRTI) and WildTeam aim to create a global centre of excellence, empowering African leaders to implement and run large-scale carbon and restoration projects.
For Phase I, we are developing a four 4 week Restoration Leaders course to be held at both WRTI and NATURAL STATE Research Centre in the Mt Kenya landscape. The course content will be aligned with NATURAL STATE’s strategic mission to catalyse nature protection and restoration at scale, and aimed at creating professionals capable of planning, implementing and reporting on any kind of restoration project. It will consist of four major course:
(i) Designing and Delivering Nature Restoration,
(ii) Restoration Impact Monitoring,
(iii) Innovative Financial Mechanisms for Restoration, and
(iv) The Restoration StartUp Incubator.
The course will combine lectures and hands-on practical training covering the basics in landscape restoration, the latest scientific methods and technologies as well as financial mechanisms for restoration. The Restoration StartUp Incubator will provide training on organisational design, management, business plans and raising funds. It will also help incubate and launch restoration initiatives and provide continued coaching. The modules will be complemented by a series of online courses that include everything from fundraising to leadership training.
For Phase II, we will continue with specialised courses and ‘train the trainers’, placing a particular focus on female role models, in order to build capacity on a national level. Within five years, we aim to scale our centres for learning across Africa, Asia and Latin America.