Healthy landscapes and ecosystems are the basis of our life and economy. However, a quarter of the world’s land mass is seriously degraded from centuries of human activity. Degradation of land is related to major themes like climate change, food and water security, and biodiversity decline. These are directly connected to well-being, security, poverty and migration. Restoring and conserving landscapes is thus one of the most important tasks of our time. Yet, there is still a big gap between economy and ecology. Europe needs a practical approach for restoring landscapes based on sustainable business cases. There is a need for trust and connection between all stakeholders investing in landscape restoration. A shared understanding or language is needed and an approach that creates engagement, controls complexity and keeps partners inspired to harvest the results of their investment. Such an approach is currently not available in Europe.
The main goal of the European Network for the Advancement of Business and Landscape Education (ENABLE) is to establish a European education platform to create awareness about the functioning of ecosystems and the benefits of sustainable landscape management that involves renowned academic partners, private business, public sectors and NGOs in developing innovative and high quality education. This education can bridge the gap and help tackle global challenges as defined in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (eg. SDG 15.3 on Land Degradation Neutrality) and the in the EU 6th Environment Action Programme (Decision No 1600/2002/EC), and the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2020.
The ENABLE objectives are:
- To create an inter- and transdisciplinary educational framework with innovative e-learning components that will help bridge the gap between economy and ecology, accelerate the much-needed change and help establish a “landscape management & restoration industry”
- To teach and train business students to become generators of sustainable value for business and society at large and to work towards an inclusive and sustainable global economy
- To initiate and facilitate dialogue and debate among educators, students, business, government, consumers, media, civil society organisations and other interested groups and stakeholders on critical issues related to global social responsibility and sustainability in general and in particular to prevention of landscape degradation and restoration.
ENABLE will start by developing two (on-line) courses for management students and professionals (business leaders, executives and practitioners from NGOs and governments). In addition, the partners will develop 5 cases to be used in management education, and an innovation and learning platform (Community of Practice) on 4 returns landscape management and business. To realise this, we will combine our expertise on the 4 returns approach (Return of Social, Natural, Financial Capital, Return of Inspiration) with Soil & Integrated Land Management, Wicked Problems, Partnership Management, and with our experience in writing and teaching cases, developing MOOCs, establishing a Community of Practice and organising large-scale high-impact events to develop and disseminate the projects’ results.
- Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University
- United Nations University Land Restoration Training Programme
- Estoril Institute for Global Dialogue
- Spanish National Research Council (CEBAS-CSIC)