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Landscape Enterprise Networks: A new approach to local risks and global challenges

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Tom Curtis is founding Partner of 3Keel LLP, where he leads the Sustainable Landscapes practice area and the development of the Landscape Enterprise Networks (LENs) programme. Partnership member 3Keel LLP is a sustainability consultancy working on the interface between supply chains, the natural environment and society. In this member blog, Tom shares the opportunity for businesses to participate in the LENs programme locally:

The climate emergency and nature crisis represent huge global challenges, but they are not abstract, they present real, local risks to businesses. We must prepare and protect ourselves against an uncertain future.

The risks that organisations face here in Bristol and South Gloucestershire, are largely defined by the land, the rivers, the sea and cities that surround us. The predicted hotter summers and wetter winters could impact your supply chains, the infrastructure you depend on, your customers, your investments, your assets, and your employees.

These impacts are made worse by the depletion of nature in our communities, damaging the natural processes that protect us from floods and heat, pollinate our crops, clean our water, regulate the climate, and support our well-being. How we build, how we farm, how we plan and how we consume affects the magnitude of risk to your organisation. But we know that restoring nature and natural processes to the land, rivers and sea can make us more resilient and support a wide variety of economic opportunities. We call these Nature-Based Solutions (NBS).

Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Council, Wessex Water, the Environment Agency, West of England Nature Partnership and 3Keel, have come together to support the development of a Landscape Enterprise Network (LENs). The LENs process brings organisations together around shared interests in nature, to invest and help secure the future for their businesses and their community.

We are looking for businesses and organisations interested in exploring the potential of investing in Nature-Based Solutions in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

The opportunity

Around the country, rivers are being restored to their natural states, reducing flood risk and pollution, and improving habitats for wildlife; making better places to live, work and visit.

Reforestation in urban and rural contexts, reduces flood risk, sequesters carbon, improves well-being, productivity and economic opportunity. A key strategy to meet 2050 climate neutral goals – although we strongly emphasise that investment in landscapes is no substitute for carbon reduction in everyday operations.

Not only will Nature-Based Solutions reduce your risk. You will also be seen to be taking responsible action which engages existing and prospective employees and customers.

Through LENs projects across the UK we are exploring ways in which we can support businesses to invest in nature and landscapes collaboratively.

In Cumbria, for example, we are supporting collective action to improve soil health and river water quality. In the South of England we are exploring ways in which investment in land management changes can improve development opportunities downstream. In Greater Manchester we are exploring how developers, infrastructure companies and utilities can work together to improve the performance of their urban and peri-urban environments. This is why we use the word investment, paying for nature restoration in landscapes leads to business opportunities and resilience.

In all of these places – as in Bristol and South Gloucestershire – there are already effective, change-making businesses, land managers, and landscape initiatives taking action. LENs is a tool that helps join things up and make resources flow.

We are holding an event for businesses and organisations in Bristol and South Gloucestershire at the end February.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can invest in the landscape to protect your business, customers and communities please get in touch: tom.curtis@3keel.com

 

 

 

Business, Nature, Opportunities
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