Land Restoration in the Baviaanskloof: A Return of Inspiration & Natural, Economic, and Social Capital

Four Returns is a South African for-profit development company that forms partnerships to restore degraded catchments, participates with the green economy, and improves livelihoods in South Africa. Four Returns has partnered with the local non-profit organization, Living Lands, to restore the degraded landscape of the Port Elizabeth catchment area of South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province. Their work aims to improve the livelihoods of local farmers while also restoring the catchment area that supplies the city of Port Elizabeth with 70% of its water.

Four Returns has developed a project in the Baviaanskloof Valley that incentivizes farmers to remove grazing animals from their farms and replace the associated income with profitable and sustainable farming, while also reintroducing native thicket species to improve soil quality and overall ecosystem health. This led to the recent planting of essential oil producing plants on participating lands, with the aim of restoring the landscape, minimizing water shortages, and returning prosperity to the farmers. This project was developed in line with a return on investment model, which will yield returns in four areas: social, natural, financial, and inspirational.