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How to address the world’s environmental challenges and make life better and more peaceful for people, nature, and the planet

‘A Restored Earth: Ten Paths to a Hopeful Future’ is an optimistic book about how to address the world’s environmental challenges and make life better and more peaceful for people, nature, and the planet.

The world has woken up in recent years to the scale of the environmental predicament it faces. 2015 was a turning point, in which the international community agreed an inspirational new set of ‘sustainable development goals’ and a far-sighted climate change agreement. What is needed now is to move from these commitments to action: A Restored Earth shows how.

Whether in addressing climate change, forest loss, soil erosion, fresh water pollution, the biodiversity crisis, ocean acidification, polluted cities, or the world’s waste, the solutions are at hand, and nor do they cost very much. What is needed is for us all to care – and then to make a difference, through personal action and a global response.

From the fields of solar panels in Nevada, to the indigenous peoples in the forests of Colombia; from flourishing restored agricultural landscapes in Ethiopia to the traditional water harvesters of northern Rajasthan; from the savannas of Northern Kenya teeming with elephants to the dazzling marine environment of the Seychelles; from the clear skies of the cities of Scandinavia to the inspiring waste campaigners in Britain: amazing things are happening right now, across the world, and so many are acting with great hope and great courage, against all the odds, to make things better.

The challenge before us is to go to scale and to replicate these successful approaches elsewhere, fast: this book shows how.

Humanity has in abundance the intelligence, the science and the foresight to know what needs to be done. Faith leaders are speaking up, inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical in 2015; company CEOs, such as Paul Polman of Unilever, are also leading by example. Millions of people around the world are concerned about the global issues and also committed to acting locally. Political leaders are stepping up to the plate. We can, truly, make the difference and turn the situation on its head.

A Restored Earth shows how, in ten chapters, focusing on climate change; the world’s forests; soil; fresh water; the natural environment; the ocean; cities; waste; what one can do individually to make a difference; and by setting out a global plan. It draws on firsthand experience, interviews with many of the world’s leading experts, and a vision steeped in years of international engagement. Above all, there is a commitment to hope – it is avowedly not too late for humanity to choose the right path, but we must act now, and fast.

I work for The Prince of Wales' International Sustainability Unit on global environmental issues, and lead the organisation's work on forests and climate change. The ISU works with governments, companies, scientists and NGOs across the continents to encourage environmental progress. Previously, I worked for the Colombian Presidency on Colombia's natural environment and the conservation of the Amazon. I have a Master's with Distinction in Environment and Development from the LSE, and a Modern Languages Degree from Oxford. I have also worked in Iraq and the Middle East for a humanitarian charity. I have written blogs, freelance journalism and travel writing, but this would be my first published book.

A New Blueprint for Humanity

This is a book about how to transform humanity’s relationship with the natural environment and bring about a better future for the world and all its inhabitants in the years to come. My argument is an optimistic one. I believe that it is still possible for the people of the world – all seven billion of us today; and a projected 9 billion by 2050 – to find a way to live a dignified life with a lighter footprint on the ecology and climate of this remarkable planet. Despite all that we have done, it is still possible to restore the earth. But we will need to act with great vision, generosity and collective foresight, summoning the best of human intelligence and the human spirit, if we are to do so. To effect this transformation is the abiding challenge of our times.

We have learnt a great deal in recent decades about the impact we are having on the Earth, whether through climate change, the loss of biodiversity, or different forms of pollution. More people around the world are concerned by these trends, and keen to reverse them, than perhaps ever before in human history. We have also understood with greater clarity than before the potential solutions to the world’s environmental problems. We know what needs to be done to bring about a different, better future. But we have no time to lose.

Read more...

A Restored Earth: Ten Paths to a Hopeful Future

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Dear All,

A quick update from me with six reflections, pieces of news and calls for help:

1. First things first: Oliver is ten weeks old and a huge source of laughter and joy, not to mention renewed passion and concern for the future of this precious planet of ours; D and I are enthralled by our beloved son and his every move, smile and laugh...;

2. I have a new Patron for the book, Steve…

Oliver

Thursday, 1 June 2017

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Dear Friends and Supporters,

Apologies for the radio silence since the 18th April.

As some of you will already know, I am delighted to say that our beloved son Oliver was born on Friday 28th April at 09:27pm at the Royal Free (a few photos below).  I have spent the past month or so immersed in the joys of parenthood.  And while I have spent a lot of time thinking about the book, and the world…

Update on 'A Restored Earth: Ten paths to a hopeful future'

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Satish kumar

Dear All,

A quick update on Tuesday 18th April 2017 ...

Today, I submit my latest manuscript to my editor Phil.  It is 45,000 words or so, and I feel I've made some good progress -- although there is still a lot to do; ideas to gather and refine; lots of editing to be done; more interviews and perspectives still to harvest; and so on.  

I am about to have a two week break from the book, because…

An update on 'A Restored Earth'

Friday, 24 March 2017

Dear All,

A moving and disturbing week, with the sad and shocking events in London, the desperate humanitarian crisis in Yemen and Sub-Saharan Africa, and -- on the climate and environment issue -- further signs that President Trump seems set on rowing back on so many of the positive environmental steps taken by his predecessor (not to mention administrations of the past 40 years), at a time when…

An update on 'A Restored Earth'

Friday, 10 March 2017

Dear Friends,

A brief update on 'A Restored Earth: Ten Paths to A Hopeful Future'.

I feel as if the book is beginning to come together, but there is a great deal still to do.  The next month is critical, as at any time from early April onwards I expect to become a father - a joyous prospect, on so many fronts; but not perhaps, in the early months at least, one readily compatible with ardent…

Interviews with James Thornton & Simon Reddy; update

Friday, 24 February 2017

Friday 24th February 2017

Dear All,

A short update this week with links to interviews with James Thornton, CEO of Client Earth, and Simon Reddy, until recently Executive Director of the Global Ocean Commission, both of whom had many helpful and insightful things to say, and both of whom were inspiring in different ways.

James' organisation, Client Earth, uses the power of the law to bring…

Recent interviews; my first talk (Tues 21st Feb); the next 2 months...

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Dear All,

An update on 'A Restored Earth', now 101% funded thanks to all of you!

Interviews

Links to six recent various recent interviews are now up on line: I hope you enjoy them.

Dr. Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, kindly recorded on video by Christian Aid:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9hpcYh-54o&feature=youtu.be

Mark Watts, Director of the C40, a coalition…

100% funded -- thank you!

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Rowan

Dear All,                                                                                                Wednesday 1st February 2017

I returned home last night from a lovely interview for 'A Restored Earth' with Rowan Williams to learn that I had reached my funding target!  Thank you all so much for your support: this book would not be happening without you. 

A link to the recording with Rowan…

82%; 5 recent interviews; encouragement from my editor; next steps...

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Dear All,

A short note, a few hours before Donald Trump's inauguration, to say that it's been an encouraging couple of weeks for 'A Restored Earth: Ten Paths to a Hopeful Future' -- my modest contribution to setting out how we might, together, bring into being a better, more peaceful and more sustainable world in the years and decades ahead.

The first and most important bit of good news was…

Sir David Attenborough; 80% funded; links to interviews with Gordon Conway & Peter Wadhams; and a first draft 20,000 words to the editor!

Monday, 9 January 2017

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Dear All,

It was a great privilege to interview Sir David Attenborough on Wednesday 4th January for the book. His mind was as startlingly vibrant and agile as ever, and he was generous with his intellect and his time. I am very grateful to him, and will treasure the photograph that his daughter Susan kindly took of us both at the end.

I have transcribed the interview in full, and it currently…

Update; interview with Mike Barry, M&S; Happy Christmas; and here's to 2017!

Friday, 23 December 2016

Dear All,

My last missive until 2017.  Thank you all so much for your support. I have now reached 79% of my target (in the 92 days since the book went live). With luck, early 2017 will see the rest come through.

I am going to bury myself in the manuscript for a few days from the 27th - 30th; then see in the New Year in Bridport, Dorset with Davina, Rosie (our dog) and 'Bump'; and then return…

75% funded -- and an interview with Christiana Figueres ...

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Dear All,

75% funded, which is terrific -- and while, with four days left, I don't now anticipate tumbling over the finishing line in time for Christmas Day, it feels nevertheless as if the end is in sight ... and so I would like to renew my heartfelt thanks to the 113 people who have so far supported and the many more who have spread the word.  It means a great deal.  

To celebrate 75%, please…

73% funded -- and an interview with Tony Juniper !!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Dear All,

'A Restored Earth' is now 73% funded thanks to your generous support.  Still ten days until Christmas in case any of you know of family, friends, charities or companies who may still wish to come behind the project!

I am delighted, too, to upload a half hour interview with Tony Juniper recorded on Wednesday 14th December.  Tony is a mentor and a friend, as well as one of the most inspiring…

63% - can we reach target by Christmas?

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Dear All I've now reached 63% of my target thanks to your kind and generous support -- and Sir David Attenborough has agreed to an interview in early January! Please help me even more by sharing news of the book with five friends and family members. It would be wonderful to meet my target by Christmas!! All best wishes and huge thanks, Edward

An interview with Achim Steiner, Director of the Oxford Martin School

Friday, 25 November 2016

Dear All,

An interview recorded on Friday 18th November with the distinguished German-Brazilian environmentalist Achim Steiner, now Director of the Oxford Martin School, and formerly Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme.  

Achim is highly articulate and inspiring, as always, and covers a lot of ground in our 45 minutes together: renewable energy; cities; water; dams…

50% funded!!!

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Dear All,

Some happy news after the US election result, as well as a huge vote of thanks: today I reached 50% of my crowd-funding target for 'A Restored Earth'! 

Thank you so much for all your generosity and all your support.  I am immensely grateful.

I am very much enjoying writing the book.

In the next month, I have interviews lined up with Achim Steiner, until recently Director of the…

An interview with Colombian anthropologist Martin von Hildebrand

Friday, 4 November 2016

Dear All,

Please find below a link to a 38 minute interview with the celebrated Colombian anthropologist Martin von Hildebrand, recorded yesterday (Thursday 3rd November 2016).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqcXqF7zDko&feature=youtu.be

Martin has worked with the indigenous peoples of the Colombian Amazon since the early 1970s, and was responsible (as he recounts in the interview) for a…

An interview with Michael McCarthy, author of 'The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy'

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Dear All,

A fascinating, challenging and rewarding interview with the author, journalist and environmentalist Michael McCarthy this morning, an unedited version of which follows at the link below.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Qr3B7H13KBc

We started by talking about his wonderful book, 'The Moth Snowstorm: Nature and Joy', which I have recently read and which I was very moved by: http://www…

34% funded; and a recording of an interview with Lord Nicholas Stern

Friday, 14 October 2016

Dear All,

To celebrate the milestone of reaching a third of my funding target (for which many renewed thanks to all of you!), please find below a link to my interview with Lord Nicholas Stern, President of the British Academy. 

We recorded the interview yesterday in Nick's sunlit office at the Academy, where he will continue to serve as President until next July, alongside his various roles…

An interview with John Sauven

Monday, 10 October 2016

Last week, I interviewed one of my environmental heroes, Greenpeace UK Executive Director John Sauven, for the book.  He was kind enough to give me an hour, on the record, uncut, which can be seen on Unbound's You Tube site below.

I do hope you enjoy the interview, which was wide-ranging and I hope informative, and in which John gave a clear and cogent account of his take on what we need to do…

A Restored Earth: my first Shed post

Monday, 3 October 2016

Dear All,

My first Shed post, a week or so since the project went live.

It's been an exciting start: the book is now 26% funded, with 43 kind and generous contributions from a wide variety of supporters from around the world, and the number growing by the day.

The plan is to continue spreading the word with enthusiasm, so please do share news of the book as widely as you can among friends…

Wenda Shehata
Wenda Shehata asked:

Content removed by Moderator.

Edward Davey
Edward Davey replied:

Dear Wenda,

It's a very good question, and one you are entirely right to ask.

As it happens, I am not a vegan myself, or even a strict vegetarian, although I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian for six years or so when I was younger.

I am however quite seriously considering becoming a vegetarian again, although not yet certain I will.

I take great care with meat and fish; try not to eat it often; and, when I do, will only do so if I am certain that it is certified, free-range, and has lived in good conditions.

I do genuinely believe that if the whole world were vegetarian, or indeed vegan, we would go a long way towards addressing the environmental problems of our time, and so I am with you, and thankful to you for asking the question.

Do let me know your thoughts as happy to continue the discussion ...

All the best, and with admiration,

Edward

Hugh Knowles
Hugh Knowles asked:

Ed,
We are running an event about how data/connectivity can help restoration agenda. Can we email you details? Might be able to get backing for your book as part of attendance.
Thanks
Hugh

Edward Davey
Edward Davey replied:

Dear Hugh,
Thanks so much for the support for the book -- and yes of course ; please do : edwardleodavey@gmail.com. Sounds fascinating, your event...
All the best,
Ed

Geoffrey Darnton
Geoffrey Darnton asked:

I would like to follow up points made by Wenda. I have a book idea myself on existential threats to humanity, as one follow-on book to my Nuclear Weapons and International Law. One chapter in my book (if it ever emerges!) would be about meat eating (that includes fish etc. - all the things vegans don't do) as one existential threat. Presumably your background means that you are aware that animal etc production contributes more to global warming that all the world's road vehicles combined?, and that Malthus's greatest mistake was probably his date estimates - meat etc., is an incredibly inefficient way to provide nutrients to people, and given population growth veganism is an essential discussion point for the book you are proposing. I care far less about your personal choices over your diet, but this is an issue that should be addressed - I cannot see how a book aiming to talk about a new blueprint for humanity could not talk about such an important matter. Promise to include this topic of diet, and I'll support the book!

Edward Davey
Edward Davey replied:

Dear Geoffrey, I hereby promise that Chapter 9 (on what you can do to make a difference) will give due consideration to the issue of diet as well as food waste; and that the issue will also arise in Chapter 3 on soil and sustainable agriculture. Thank you for writing and for your support for the book! All the best, Edward

IDEAA Regeneration Systems
IDEAA Regeneration Systems asked:

Dear Mr. Davey,

will contamination be too addressed? I am particularly thinking about chemical contamination derived from massive plastic use, but not only.

Best regards,

Luisa Ward
ideaa.eu

Edward Davey
Edward Davey replied:

Dear Luisa,

Thank you for asking. I am hoping to cover waste and contamination in Chapter 8, as part of a discussion of waste and the circular economy. Do send me further thoughts & ideas, as keen to do the issue justice, and to highlight some of the solutions to the problem...all best wishes, Edward

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