Amanda Keetley from the Devon Environment Foundation (DEF) talks about the business benefits of being nature-positive.
At the 2021 Carbis Bay event, G7 leaders announced that the world must not only become net-zero by 2030, but also nature-positive for the benefit of people and the planet.
They recognised that the climate and biodiversity crises are intertwined, and that nature- positive initiatives can tackle BOTH crises at the same time.
We can all get inspired by this vision and be empowered to be nature-positive at work, at home, and in our communities.
Wildlife Wardens in Teignbridge
What does it mean to be nature-positive?
A Nature-Positive approach enriches biodiversity, sequesters carbon, enhances soil and water quality, reduces flooding and soil erosion, reduces pandemic risk… and much more.
Traditional environmental messaging has focussed on fear and guilt to encourage action. This can sometimes be effective, but often makes us feel overwhelmed or switches us off.
The beauty of the Nature-Positive approach is that it is inspirational, inclusive, and gives us hope for a better future.
Beavers on the River Tamar and soon to be on the Caen Catchment
Benefits of a nature-positive economy
A World Economic Forum 2020 report highlighted that business-as-usual is no longer an option.
Furthermore, it identified that a Nature-Positive Economy can create 395 million new jobs and over $10 trillion in business opportunities.
Expanding areas under conservation could yield a return of at least $5 for every $1 spent and boost global economic output by $250 billion annually – every aspect of human society requires healthy functioning ecosystems.
How to be nature-positive in your organisation
The first step is to take responsibility to ensure our professional actions reflect our personal values.
Leading by example can positively influence our colleagues, suppliers, and industry – unlocking a ripple effect of change (doing nothing enables the status quo).
Here’s how to be Nature-Positive in your organisation:
- Remove support from investments, clients, or suppliers whose business practices degenerate nature (fossil fuels, industrial agriculture, deforestation, plastics…)
- Add support to investments, clients, and suppliers whose business practices regenerate nature (renewable energy, regenerative agriculture, seaweed farming, rewilding…)
- Getnaturepositive.com is a brilliant resource brimming with ideas for actions and case studies for inspiration for every sector.
Many of the Nature-based Solutions that need to take place this decade don’t yet have a clear market value, or viable business model so there’s an urgent need to support charities delivering tangible, Nature-based Solutions in the UK.
Donating to the Devon Environment Foundation enables us to identify and nurture pioneering Nature-Positive projects so they can replicate and scale.
Apricot Centre Regenerative School
Some of the DEF’s nature-positive projects
The Devon Environment Foundation specialises in supporting pioneering, grassroots Nature- Positive projects in the UK.
We work as an environmental kick-starter, channelling funds to the most promising and most impactful Nature-based Solutions, enabling them to replicate and scale.
One of the best things about Nature-Positive initiatives is that they are very compelling and offer hope, so more people want to get involved.
Supporting Nature-Positive projects in Devon is a great way to share positive news stories that engage and inspire customers and employees.
Here are some of the brilliant and hopeful projects that DEF has supported:
Wildlife Wardens: exemplary and replicable system providing training and resources to empower local volunteers to create more space for wildlife habitat in their communities.
Regenerative School: growing the next generation of regenerative farmers who will go on to tenant/own land and move the needle on land-use in Devon over the coming decade.
Flete Field Lab: experimenting to create recipes with mycelium and biochar to clean up water and enhance soil without the use of chemical fertilisers.
River Corridors and Beavers: turning rivers into nature corridors to enable wildlife to thrive, preventing water pollution, and introducing beavers to create carbon-rich, biodiverse wetlands.
Seaweed Farming: pioneering pilot to prove the economic, social and environmental benefits of seaweed farming, which include carbon sequestration and providing habitat.
Exmoor Tree Nursery: collecting native seeds to grow resilient saplings for planting in the uplands to enhance biodiversity and prevent downstream flooding.
Water Voles: reintroducing this keystone species to British waterways, to enhance biodiversity and the health of local rivers and wetlands.
Till the Coast is Clear: adventure beach cleaning activities to reach the parts of the coast that other cleaners can’t reach, engaging the community and having fun while cleaning up plastic pollution.
We have many more projects in the pipeline and welcome support from organisations who want to be nature-positive.
Till the Coast Is Clear Plastic Clean Up
Calls to action
Here are a few actions and resources to help you on your journey to becoming more Nature-Positive:
- Read: Regeneration, How to Save the World for Free, The Future We Choose
- Watch: A Life On Our Planet, 2040, Kiss the Ground
- Listen: How to Save a Planet, Jon Richardson & Futurenaughts, Outrage & Optimism
- Act: Commit to new Nature-Positive actions at work and home
About Amanda Keetley
Amanda Keetley is the local executive director for the DEF. An environmentalist and marketing expert, she has campaigned to reduce plastic pollution locally and globally since 2015 and wrote a book ‘Plastic Game Changer’ in 2019 to help people reduce plastic waste in their organisations.
She believes now is the time to go beyond ‘minimising negative impact’ to incorporate the more ambitious and inspiring goal of ‘maximising positive impact’ by supporting grassroots projects that protect, restore, and regenerate nature to repair the damage we’ve caused.
Amanda lives in Kingsbridge, South Devon, with her husband and teenage sons, and loves appreciating nature on woodland and coastal walks, and while kayaking, paddleboarding, and enjoying chilly sea dips.