Scaling and Financing

Scaling and Financing

Commonland is very hopeful about La Almendrehesa, its first business case in Spain, and wants to replicate the model with almonds and other regenerative crops such as olive oil, wine and honey in the whole area of the Altiplano. In this way, its landscape restoration initiative in Spain can reach more scale and become more interesting for investors of different kinds.

Figure 1. Commonland’s scaling iterative process

There are many types of investors out there besides NGOs and philanthropists who are willing to support sustainable landscape restoration initiatives, such as banks, asset management firms, and private funds, and the number is growing.

Already in 2017, Rabobank and the UN Environment announced the creation of a 1-billion-dollar facility to finance sustainable agriculture using a combination of public and private funding. There are already a few examples of landscape restoration initiatives, where investors, businesses, and land users overcame barriers and created commercially viable projects. These examples show how different investment instruments, such as blended finance, green bonds, and asset class, could offer large amounts of public and private capital options for sustainable land use management at scale.

How can these apparently different worlds of large finance facilities and relatively small business investment opportunities meet in Spain? This is the central question for Commonland.


Large-scale landscape restoration projects usually need four layers of continued financing:

  • Initial grants (less than one per cent) to mobilize people;
  • Subsidies to get the action on the ground started the first (and subsequent) year(s);
  • Private and public investment after 5 years to scale up the first investments;
  • Private and public investments for the long-term run of the whole project.


Commonland bases its funding model on these four layers and is aiming to use blended finance mechanisms to fund the scaling of its initiative in Spain. Different types of investors with different expectations and goals could together reduce the risk of investment.

Figure 2. Commonland’s funding model