It’s been quite a year. One that tested our resilience as organisations and as individuals; and has left many of us with more questions than answers. Who hasn’t had a moment of introspection as we saw our world changing, or family and friends being impacted by the virus?
Despite the turbulence, I am grateful for how we have come together as one team – within Earthworm, with our members and partners, and with the farmers and communities we work with day-to-day. I am grateful to see that what connects us is alive.
It is thanks to those relationships that we managed to continue to create positive impact. In France, farmers have been working on bringing more life to their soil. In Ivory Coast, we saw government and businesses partnering to conserve one of the most precious forests in the country. We leveraged data to better manage forest landscapes with the Healthy Forest Landscapes approach. We ventured from the boreal forests of Russia to rubber plantations in Thailand; from hazelnut farms in Turkey to the Leuser Ecosystem in Indonesia.
We strove to share what we had learnt; from two years bridging the trust gap between businesses and civil society, for example. We shared resources to help companies protect the rights of workers and children in Malaysia and Indonesia. We helped farmers in Vietnam organise and educate themselves to improve yield.
2021 will be dedicated to creating a path for the various climate commitments that have been made. It’s exciting for Earthworm and our partners, because it puts what we have been working on for years – soils, forests and the people who live in and manage those ecosystems – at the heart of the world’s concerns. It sees value chains evolving from being a source of reputational risk which needs to be managed to becoming the main opportunity to drive regeneration on the ground, in sourcing regions and landscapes.
To succeed though, we will all need to overcome the fear that is currently shaking us. Fear of losing health, jobs and wealth. Regeneration needs the opposite of fear – confidence and faith. Faith in what nature is capable of doing; faith in human beings; faith in ourselves. With it, we will overcome this situation and come out stronger.
I conclude simply by wishing you a great end-of-the-year and a happy new year. I hope these coming days will give you a chance to rest and recharge. Be well, and take good care of yourself and your loved ones.
CEO, Earthworm Foundation