About Consano Earth
Consano Earth is a UK based Donor Advised Fund set up in 2021 by Nick and Elena Martin.
The 6th IPCC report published in August 2021 left no doubt that it is "code red for humanity". Even in their best case scenario the world is likely to temporarily reach 1.5C of warming by 2040. There needs to be immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in emissions. Without this the report warns that limiting global warming to either 1.5C or even 2C about pre-industrial levels by 2010 would be beyond reach.
The health of the planet underpins all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The focus on carbon emissions reduction is necessary but not sufficient. The COVID-19 crisis exposed the tragic folly of undervaluing resilience and ignoring systematic risk. Society is beginning to place greater value on sustainability, and that’s a pre-condition to solving the climate crisis. We believe COVID-19 will prove to have been a call to action on climate change and a recognition that the importance of biodiversity needed to be amplified. Forests and oceans are natural assets that act as carbon sinks. Greater biodiversity reduces risks and uncertainty within a portfolio of natural assets.
Today half of habitable land is used for agriculture. Changing farming subsidies, increasingly volatile weather and increasing consumer preferences away from meat heavy diets are presenting serious challenges to farmers. These combined with the ever closer tipping point for plant-based meat and the cellular agriculture revolution mean landowners need an alternative.
The bison is such an important keystone species and we were delighted to see a herd in the Carpathian Mountains in September 2021 on our visit to the FCC conservation charity.
Earth has two lungs.
One is Blue and the other is Green.
We believe there is scope to free up a lot of agricultural land an increasing amount of which has become marginal due to climate instability. A proper recognition of the value of natural assets would clearly demonstrate that returning this land to nature offers not only better financial returns but also benefits positively impacts the environment and society.
We seek to fund charities that amplify this important message and help rewild the land and sea. Rewilding lets nature lead and allows for the reinstatement of natural processes including reintroducing missing species where appropriate particularly keystone species like the beaver. Rewilding redresses human being's balance with the wild. Rewilding can enrich lives and help us to reconnect with wild nature while providing a sustainable future for local and wider communities. Rewilding Britain notes a 54% increase in jobs across 32 rewilding projects. Whilst rewilding and the increased biodiversity it brings works best at nature's scale small changes also matter. Scale may come from single landholdings or through joining up nature through nature corridors so it can thrive from mountain top to doorstep, from source to sea. Scale comes from embracing "WildEdges" whether that be extending hedgerows or having messier roadside verges. We all need to work with the wild, not against it.
Consano Earth News - We hosted a Rewilding Event in Bristol on 7th June
We hosted an inaugural collaboration event between Heal Rewilding, Project Seagrass and ourselves in Bristol on 7th June 2022. This was a wonderful opportunity to hear from some of charities we support as well as see Kelp! a film that we funded after a shout out on the So Hot Right Now! podcast from some Falmouth University students. Recordings of the event presentations are available here.
What we do
Rewilding The Land
We fund initiatives that focus on developing large rewilding demonstration sites on land. These sites:
Help connect different interest groups specifically the commercial sector as well as Government, NGO and science sectors which will be needed to rewild at scale
Introduce innovative funding structures that can be scaled
Showcase the non-monetary benefits of biodiversity by promoting the use of tools that can act as an interface between technology and rewilding. These tools are key to ensuring that every financial decision will properly take climate change into account.
Our core charities include Heal Rewilding in the UK and the Foundation Conservation Carpathia (FCC) in Romania.
Rewilding The Sea
The importance of our oceans is often overlooked. The ocean is a critical carbon sink helping to regulate global climate. The livelihoods of 10-12% of the world's population depend on fisheries and aquaculture. Over 3bn people rely on food from the ocean as a significant source of protein. By 2050, an estimated 800m people will be at risk of storm surges from extreme weather events and rising sea level threaten low lying cities.
We fund ocean rewilding initiatives with a focus on seagrass projects. Seagrass meadows promote biodiversity holding 40 times more marine life than seabeds without grass. They are able to store carbon dioxide, which contributes to global heating, at a rate 35 times faster than tropical rainforests. Seagrass meadows help prevent coastal erosion, as their long blades counter the ocean’s swell and provide a buffer to storm damage.
Our core charity is Project Seagrass.
Picture courtesy of Georgie Bull.
Amplifying the importance of Rewilding
Whilst we enjoy our personal involvement with smaller charities it is critically important that "umbrella" rewilding organisations and initiatives are developed to promote the formation of nature corridors that amplify the impact of individual rewilding sites. Core rewilding areas are of vital importance but need to complemented by private land owners committing to part of their own Regenerative Areas to rewilding. Rewilding Britain and WildEast are leading examples of this.
We welcome the reintroduction of keystone species where appropriate with our support focused on the beaver and the wild cat. We have funded important "eDNA" analysis ahead of a beaver reintroduction for FCC in Romania. We also support Beaver Trust who influence public policy and support communities to bring beavers back. We have been inspired by what Chris Jones has done at the wonderful Cornwall Beaver Project. Derek Gow has also played a huge role in bringing beavers back to the UK and we are supporting his work on doing the same with wild cats.
We also personally support initiatives that showcase the importance of rewilding specifically film and media projects that are solution based, pro-active stories. This is as much about funding people as funding projects. In 2020 we started working with Falmouth University in helping fund rewilding centric films from recent graduates. The Class of 2021 produced two fantastic films; one showcasing the wonders of Kelp and the second about the COAST project in Arran, Scotland. Two more films are scheduled for release in late 2023.
"We can't have healthy people on an unhealthy planet"
Wonderful things happen as nature heals
Here is a wonderful film from Rewilding Britain that shows what can happen as nature starts to heal.
“We talk of saving the planet but the truth is we must do these things to save ourselves. With or without us the wild will return.”