He’s known to some as the “Indiana Jones” of landscape degradation and restoration.
John D. Liu, ecosystem restoration researcher, educator and filmmaker, has dedicated his life to sharing real-world examples of once-degraded landscapes newly restored to their original fertile and biodiverse beauty.
Liu is director of the Environmental Education Media Project (EEMP), ecosystem ambassador for the Commonland Foundation, and a visiting research fellow at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.
We recently sat down with Liu, the newest member of the Regeneration International (RI) Steering Committee. In this interview, Liu walks us through large-scale ecosystem restoration projects in China and Rwanda.
We learn that when humans work with nature, degraded landscapes can be restored in a matter of years, and economies can be regenerated, putting food security and climate change mitigation within our reach.
In order to survive as a species, Liu explains, humanity must shift from commodifying nature to ‘naturalizing’ our economy.