Ecosystem Restoration Camps

Proposal for a New California Initiative

We have a lot of degraded land in California and potential in California to develop Ecosystem Restoration Camps. Climate disruption is accelerating, increasing the importance of this work.

Ecosystem Restoration Camps work best as a cooperative venture. A group of people get together to discuss setting up a camp. The group decides on a project and collects the resources to start the project. Projects might qualify for CA Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds by projecting amounts of carbon sequestered so that work can be paid as well as volunteer. This discussion can help us connect with more of our neighbors to build a movement to support this work of our time.

A program might start by showing the video of the restoration of the Loess plateau “Green Gold”, and a video about the Ecosystem Restoration Camp in Spain, followed by discussion with questions such as:

• What can we do here in our neighborhood to restore a piece of degraded land or create a nursery for the plants that will be needed to revegeate degraded lands?

• How can we network amongst ourselves and the other discussion groups?

• What local resources do we have in our community?

• How can we grow a local group capable of doing a project?

• How can we involve the local indigenous people?

• What local needs do we have? (damaged lands, lack of jobs/meaningful work, skills training, housing, etc.)

• What agencies are giving grants for restoration, mitigation, carbon sequestration, skills training?

• How can we create value/revenue streams to support this project?

• How can we support the state, regional, and international efforts?

Considerations: Some aspects to consider when holding meetings:

• Remember the first peoples of our area and consider the effects of our actions on our grandkids, etc.

• Share food at the meetings. Food helps build community.

• Include everyone in the discussions around the circle. Process is important.

• Consider using Theory U to organize meetings.

• Camp infrastructure, tools, safety equipment, food, lodging should be provided

• Involve as many people as possible.

• Consider meeting in a special or symbolic place.

The intended outcome is not only talk and social capital, but the creation of large nurseries for reforestation, camps where water harvesting and fire prevention are done by large numbers of people with government and individuals cooperating.

We can start by joining and asking others to become members of the international cooperative at

And we can begin organizing groups in our local communities. There are a large number of Ecology Centers, regenerative farms, land trusts, and Permaculture Design training centers around California that could look at this kind of project and share progress and eventually collaborate. A list of such contacts in California is being developed.


Ron Whitehurst

Dietrick Institute for Applied Insect Ecology

Rincon-Vitova Insectaries



John Liu contact information

John D. Liu, Ecosystems Ambassador, Commonland Foundation Visiting Fellow, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO) Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) or

phone in China +86-13911-565016

Resources Ecosystem Restoration Camps

Otto Sharmer, Theory U, presencing Wikipedia

Facebook pages: Ecosystem Restoration Camps California,

Ecosystem Restoration Camps

Ecosystem Restoration Cooperative Members Group Page

Main link for papers and videos about Ecosystem Restoration

Videos and Podcasts

Hope in a Changing Climate Documentary, 2009 (30 min)

Large Scale Ecosystem Restoration Keynote Speech, Feb 2017 (20 min)

Green Gold Documentary, Jul 2012 (48 min)

Muse Ecology Podcast, Timothy Sexauer, Aug 2018 (52 min) Earth Repair Radio Podcast, Andrew Millison, interview John Liu Sept 2018 #19 (94 min) See partial transcript at

Other Background Links about John D. Liu and the Commonland Foundation Research -

LinkedIn – John D. Liu