Mossy Earth Co-Founder Explains Rewilding to Fight Climate Change

This Q&A is brought to you by Matthew Davies, co-founder of Mossy Earth.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

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  1. Tell us about Mossy Earth and why you decided to tackle climate change through nature restoration.

    Recent scientific studies have shown that rewilding (nature restoration) is one of the most effective and cheapest ways to restore biodiversity and fight climate change. Restoring just 15% of degraded lands in critical areas could avoid 60% of expected species extinction and capture 30% of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution.

    Rewilding is seen as a more sustainable, long-term solution than simply planting trees, which if done incorrectly, can have a detrimental effect on the environment (e.g. planting monocultures and non-native trees).

    So, Duarte (fellow co-founder) and I decided to look at reforestation holistically when setting up Mossy Earth. We run rewilding impact projects across the globe to restore wild ecosystems and support biodiversity. The projects are carefully reviewed in house by our team of biologists and funded by a £10/month individual membership accessible to all.

    We seek out, set up and manage specific rewilding projects which aim to have the highest environmental return on investment for our members. Whether that is tree planting, wildlife protection or reintroduction, peat bog restoration, GPS monitoring or restoring kelp forests to name but a few examples, we choose the most impactful for a particular area.

    We are currently working in Scotland, Ireland, Romania, Slovakia, Portugal and Namibia.

  2. What informed your approach to building Mossy Earth?

    Witnessing first-hand on our travels the effects of climate change and the destruction of the natural world, Duarte and I were compelled to fight back and so set up Mossy Earth.

    We, like so many people, were a little overwhelmed by the enormity of the problem and did not know what we could do on an individual level to solve it. So that is why we created the Mossy Earth membership. It is a pathway to action, empowering individuals to fight back and have a real impact by restoring key ecosystems while mitigating their carbon emissions.

  3. Can you describe your "Low Impact Living Guides" listed on your site and how they help readers?

    We not only fight climate change through our reforestation and rewilding projects but help our readers reduce their environmental impact with our Low Impact Living Guides. A selection of freely available and practical guides which delve into how simple changes in diet, travel, lifestyle, waste and energy can help minimise one’s carbon footprint.

    In feedback sessions with our members, our pragmatic approach and useful tips have enabled them to make incremental but impactful changes in their daily life.

    In recent months our most popular guides have been: ”Sustainable & Ethical Smartphones”, “Environmentally friendly laptops”, “Wild Foraging”, “Going Zero Waste”, “Flexitarian Diet” and “Home Composting”.

  4. Do you have plans to expand Mossy Earth? What are the best ways to get involved?

    Yes, at Mossy Earth we are as passionate about nature as we are ambitious, and so this year we are excited to launch our 3 new rewilding programmes.

    The Ugly Ones
    - A programme to support all those uncharismatic species that are threatened or underfunded due to their shortfall in looks. Such as protecting the elusive and dragon like Olm in Croatia.

    The Keystone Champions -
    To support species that have a cascading positive impact on their ecosystem. Such as restoring lynx habitats to pave the way for the translocation of lynx or future reintroductions.

    Climate Heroes -
    To support species that play an oversized role in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Such as carrying out coral reef restoration.

  5. Tell us more about why Mossy Earth is unique.

    To our knowledge, we are but one of a few organisations proactively fighting climate change through rewilding projects, and certainly the only rewilding subscription. Moreover, we are quite unique in that we have an on the ground presence at our project areas and allow our members to vote on our project decisions, deciding what projects they would like to see us carry out.

    This month we head to a remote location in southern Namibia for our next member vote. Close to the border with South Africa, it is drastically different from are our usual project areas in Europe, with desert and shrubland habitats. Here our members will vote between building a tree nursery, investigating burrowing species or building a vulture restaurant. These projects will help transform this area of old farmland into a rewilded environment.

    To date, previous votes have included kelp restoration, GPS tagging Griffon vultures, building eagle nest platforms, translocating mountain hares and funding guard dogs for shepherds to name but a few.

  6. Other than Mossy Earth, what are some of your favorite tools and resources for fighting climate change?

    Personally, having been a teacher for 10+ years prior to starting Mossy Earth, I’d regard education as my favourite tool to tackle climate change. Education inspires and empowers, enabling people to make informed decisions on how we they can fight climate change.

  7. What is one thing you wish more people understood about the movement for a more sustainable future?

    The urgency of the problems we face.

    I was recently calling with my 6-year-old niece who was proud to show me a poster she had made at school about global warming, melting ice caps and the solutions. While she had nailed the severity of the problem, the solutions her teacher had proposed of switching off lights at home and turning off the tap while brushing your teeth will never reverse the impending ecosystem collapse. We as individuals have to inform ourselves and our little ones on what changes will have the biggest and most immediate impact, such as adopting a plant-based diet, giving up flying, investing in smart technology, voting for politicians that seek to address global warming, switching to a renewable energy supplier and supporting organisations fighting to restore nature.

  8. Any advice for people who are new to the fight against climate change or aren't sure what their place is?

    There is a lot of info out there on climate change, much of which is depressing, so be sure to educate yourselves on both sides of the story of climate change. It’s not all doom and gloom with many positive stories that will instill optimism and inspire change. Also, be patient with yourself, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t become Captain Planet overnight, so long as you are making impactful changes, it’s ok to slip up here or there.

    And of course, sign up as a Mossy Earth member! 😊

Fight climate change in a way that works for you.

💌 Thinking about sustainability can be overwhelming after a busy workday, so we're here to help. Join over 4,000 other busy people and subscribe to Changeletter, a bite-sized action plan that'll take you 3 minutes or less to read every week.
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Headshot of Ash Borkar (a woman with glasses and a cardigan)
"The info is always timely, actionable, and never stale." - Aishwarya Borkar, Change.org
Headshot of Meghan Mehta speaking at Google with a microphone in her hand
"Making social change always felt so overwhelming until I started reading this newsletter." - Meghan Mehta, Google