About Ecosystem Restoration Camps

Ecosystem Restoration Camps Foundation is a Dutch non-profit foundation with 1000 pledged members from over 75 countries around the world. In 2017, it is our objective to finance the building and maintenance of the first Ecosystem Restoration Camp in Spain. Once the first camp is established, we will help set up more restoration camps worldwide.

We strategically chose The Netherlands as a base for the organization because the country is well known for its open-minded, corruption-free environment. These conditions have allowed us to operate as a charity with few legal and accounting obstacles. The foundation structure enables us to work with both an advisory and a supervisory board.

The cooperation of members organises its work in circles that regularly meet in a General Assembly.

Read our organisation articles

Advisory Board

Roles and Responsibilities

The Advisory Board gives strategic advice and guidance to the Supervisory Board and the General Assembly. John D. Liu is currently serving as director of the advisory board.

Supervisory Board

Roles and Responsibilities
  • Translate the vision and mission of the Foundation into strategic policy plans.
  • Appoint a Board of Directors and supervise the day-to-day affairs of the Foundation, providing advice to the Directors when necessary.
  • Oversee strategy and help to minimize risks associated with the Foundation’s activities, regulation and compliance issues.
  • Support the General Assembly and circles with individual knowledge and collective wisdom.
  • Supervise the budget, financial planning, and reporting process.
  • Approve annual plans, financial statements, reports, and budgets.

Board of the Directors

Roles and Responsibilities
  • Act as a representative to the Foundation.
  • Adopts, prepare, and execute the Foundation’s policy.
  • Manage the budget of the Foundation and produce its annual reports.
  • Members of the Board of Directors are appointed by the Supervisory Board.

John D. Liu

Chairman of the Advisory Board

After 15 years as a Television Producer and Cameraman for CBS News, RAI and ZDF John began to study ecology. In the mid-1990’s he began a participatory process with a number of media and broadcasting colleagues in Beijing that led to the creation of the Environmental Education Media Project for China (EEMPC). He has directed the EEMPC (now the EEMP) from its beginning. The EEMPC has distributed over 1000 environmental films in China since then. The EEMPC also helped found the “China Environment and Sustainable Development Reference and Research Center (CESDRRC) and the China HIV/AIDS Information Center (CHAIN). Over the years their activities have broadened beyond China to include the entire world and to include the production of environmental and ecological films. The name was shortened to Environmental Education Media Project (EEMP) when they were asked to work in other countries. From 2003 – 2006 John was a visiting fellow with the Faculty of Natural Sciences and the Faculty of the Built Environment at the University of the West of England, In 2006 he was named the Rothamsted International Fellow for the Communication of Science, from 2010 – 2013 John was a Senior Research Fellow for IUCN. In 2013 he received the Communications Award from the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER), “Green Gold” a film about his work produced by the VPRO won a Prix Italia award. “Hope in a Changing Climate” was named the best ecosystem film by the International Wildlife Film Festival and won several other honors.

Supervisors: Professor Louise Vet, Professor Sampurno Bruijnzeel , Willem Ferwerda, Dr. Jane Goodall, Professor Stephen Nortcliff, Professor Ian Crute, Juergen Voegele, Professor David Powlson, and Professor Clyde Goulden

François Dekeuleneer

Chairman of the Supervisory Board

François has been working for 3 years at the DEME-Group and is now Environmental Engineer for the Group. Always keen on better understanding the surrounding world, he started his education by a bachelor in Geology and continued with a master in Hydrogeology and Geothermics. This allowed him to better understand the underlying systems that have naturally shaped our Earth across the geological time. Rapidly, François realized the fragile equilibrium of our planet and started to study how to make it a better place. He wrote a study for his master thesis on how to mitigate the saltwater intrusion in aquifers by installing geothermal doublets on salt affected coasts.

In his current position, he is working on the development of pro-active adaptive management tools on different projects. François has, from the outset been convinced by the potential of the Ecosystem Restoration Camps and has been supporting the initiative the best he could by spreading the vision and mission, organising events, applying to foundations’ grants, fundraising,… He is keen on making this project a success and will give all he can for it to become one!

Francois Dekeuleneer

Pieter van der Gaag

Member of the Supervisory Board

Inextricably linked to our current natural systems, humanity needs to develop it’s society and economy sustainably. Not one actor can do this alone. Where business holds many of the tools needed (people, finance, innovation) it requires collaboration with science (ideas, data), government (convening power, legitimacy) and NGOs (vision, and needed perspectives). Pieter has worked on governance models, reporting and transparency initiatives, natural capital valuation, collaborative models, marketing of ideas, management, policy development within NGOs, multi-stakeholder initiatives and finance. Currently, he is an independent consultant that can help organisations understand and collaborate with its stakeholders, develop sustainability policies, and find responses to sustainability issues. He is also an entrepreneur setting up a new business that aims to bring sustainably produced products to larger currently hardly reached audiences. He is pleased to be a member of the Supervisory board of the Ecosystem Restoration Foundation.

Erin Beasley

Member of the Supervisory Board

Erin Beasley is based in Washington, DC working in the non-profit sector on international climate change policy and efforts to protect and restore ecosystems for climate adaptation in Latin America and Africa. Prior to her current work, Erin was the recipient of a Gruber Fellowship for Global Justice and Women’s Rights in Cochabamba, Bolivia where she designed, implemented and evaluated capacity-building programs for women farmers on climate change adaptation and agroecology. Erin completed a masters degree at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies with a focus on agricultural resilience to climate change and also worked as the Program Officer for the Tropical Resources Institute. She has served on country delegations at climate negotiations and carried out opportunity analyses for REDD+ in Mexico. Erin speaks fluent Spanish, intermediate Portuguese, elementary French and elementary Quechua, and spends equal time gardening, hiking and climbing when she is not at the office.

Rhamis Kent

Member of the Supervisory Board

Rhamis Kent is a consultant with formal training in mechanical engineering (University of Delaware, B.S.M.E. ’95) and permaculture-based regenerative whole systems design serving as a registered certified Permaculture Design instructor with PRI Australia.  He also serves as a co-director of the Permaculture Research Institute and a member of Permaculture Sustainable Consulting Pty Ltd (PSC).  Rhamis also serves as Executive Director of the Italy-based World Permaculture Association.

Rhamis has previously worked for the renowned American inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen at DEKA Research & Development, with subsequent engineering work ranging from medical device research and development to aerospace oriented mechanical design.  He had involvement with design work connected to the development of Masdar City in UAE after PSC was contracted by AECOM/EDAW to identify solutions which fit the challenging zero emissions/carbon neutral design constraint of the project.

Rhamis has taught Permaculture Design (formal Certification and short Intensive courses) in Palestine/Occupied West Bank, Greece, Ethiopia, Yemen, Turkey, Thailand, Italy, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, and The United States (Michigan, California & Vermont).  He has also performed additional consultancy work on projects in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Afghanistan, Somaliland, Pakistan, and Western Sahara.

Raye Hodgson

Member of the Supervisory Board

Ray loves all things green and growing and loves to learn and share knowledge about them plants as individuals, and within ecosystems.

She is certified in Permaculture Design. Aside from that, her formal training includes a B.S. degree in Renewable Natural Resources from the University of Connecticut and conservation planning certification while working with NRCS as an agricultural conservationist. She has a certificate in composting from the Maine Compost School.

Other training has included pasture ecology at Penn State, a Forest Garden class and practicum sponsored by Appleseed Permaculture, and training in the use of alternative crops and high tunnels sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Extension, the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System, and Northeast SARE. She has also taken the online Adapting in Place course with farmers/authors Sharon Astyk and Aaron Newton.

She has worked with scientists, farmers and other professionals in Connecticut and beyond, through projects and conferences related to agriculture and sustainable living. She has taught informally, both large group presentations (300 is the record), small groups as a naturalist/interpreter and one on one, with youngsters and adults. Examples of more formal teaching experience includes high school biology and general science and college biology lab instruction.

Her own gardens include garlic, apples, rhubarb, raspberries, blueberries, herbs, sunroot (Helianthus tuberosus), hopniss (Apios americana), annual and perennial vegetables, and a variety of other native and non-native plants that contribute to the health of the whole system. She keeps a small flock of Indian Runner and other small breed ducks, now the highlight of her gardens and her life! The 1800 square foot forest garden needs a reworking to increase yield for the domestic critters. It has been a haven for wildlife, primarily, up to now.

One of the skills she has begun to develop is the use of a European style scythe. Scythes have, of course, been in use for centuries, and now that she has begun to use one, she simply does not understand why anyone would use a petroleum powered trimmer or mower. Seed saving, fermentation, and Appalachian music also enrich life on the duckstead.

Marieke Karssen

Board Director and Secretary of the Supervisory Board

Marieke started working with computers and the Internet during the late eigthies, early nineties. She has been an entrepeneur for almost all of her working life. She owned an internet startup around complex content management solutions which grew into a software development bureau of around 20 people during the nineties and noughties, and had a serious toomuchcomputing burnout way in 2001. Then she started gardening and growing her own food and that became a necessity for health ever since. And, while gardening she also started to understand that taking care of the soil and the earth will create an environment that takes care of us. With abundance. And that understanding made her move more and more of her work-energy towards greening this planet. She brings online knowledge and experience to the world of permaculturists, farmers and agro forestry people and develops communities, events, campaigns, websites, crowdfunding and even online tooling. All with one question in mind: how to bring the pioneering ideas about restoring paradise from the early adopters to an early majority. Working for the Ecosystem Restoration Camps fits perfectly in this movement. See http://theplant.nl (dutch only)

Jan Hein van der Hoeven

Treasurer of the Board of Directors

Jan Hein van der Hoeven is born on: 25-march-1976 in Langbroek and is the father of 3 little sons and the husband of a wonderful wife. He grew up on the farm of his parents with 3 more brothers and loved it there.

He has a double master’s degree in Social and Organisational Psychology and worked for different NGO’s (Bottletop Unite, EnAccion) and different businesses (Dell, Versatel, Ardeco, RobinGood) before deciding to become a mediator. After that he got another master’s degree in Australia (Business). When he came back to the Netherlands, he launched an IT start up. He ran the business for 8 years and helped to grow it to a multimillion business with 12 FTE.

This past year he also had the opportunity to run his family farm and although he still has to move there he started to learn about new ways of running an estate. (The old model was build houses so you could afford nature). He learned more about how to become self-sustainable and about permaculture.

He is not an activist but loves the positive attitude of permaculture. He loves to be Self Reliant, to think Positive and to Leave People and Planet better behind then how you found them. He feels most at home translating a vision to possible business partners / donors and/or implementing growth strategies. He is a dreamer with a can do mentality.. He’s writing a children’s novel now which ultimately, besides a little self-sustaining farm is his life’s goal. But help saving the wold from self-destruction takes a good second place!

Inti Reiss

Member and Organisation Manager

When Inti was 15, he first got in contact with communities. That opened his worldview and he started asking himself how to create a healthy live (socially, ecologically, economically…).

In the past years, he visited various communities. Last year, he volunteered for a gift-network and learned and applied Sociocracy 3.0 as a governance system.

He contributes to ERC mostly by helping to set up an effective organization with smooth workflows and as little bureaucracy as needed. His goal is an organization that empowers people to contribute their skills and knowledge with joy. He also really wants to learn more about permaculture. So he hope severything works smooth and easy soon. So he can go and volunteer at a camp!

He is always happy to collect feedback on our organizational structure. Also he is looking for a team to support him by 1. keeping track of things (google docs, sheets, meetings, agenda items etc.) 2. contributing knowledge to our upcoming wiki.

Cori Chong

Online Manager

Cori Chong is a digital nomad who has been traveling and working remotely for over 3 years.  She has committed her career to helping environmentally conscious organizations with their online presence. Her skillset includes digital strategy and communication, user research, web development, graphic design, photography, and videography.  Originally from Toronto, Canada, she has worked for design agencies in Montreal and New York City.  She graduated in the top of her class with a B.A. in Sociology and Communications from McGill University.

While living in Montreal, Cori worked for several non-profit organizations.  Most notably, she established the first Canadian chapter for a non-profit organization called Project Futures.  In collaboration with a team of dedicated volunteers, she helped network with local organizations, develop awareness campaigns, and organize large scale fundraising events with proceeds supporting the eradication of sex trafficking in South East Asia.

After first learning about permaculture on a solo trip through the Hawaiian Islands, Cori has applied her skills as a digital content creator (photography and videography) to an array of projects.  Her photography work includes shooting an award winning travel-inspired cookbook.  She has also worked on documentary films such as Island Earth, a Kickstarter backed film about how to feed the world through sustainable agriculture, directed by Emmy award-winning director and pro-surfer Cyrus Sutton.  Cori has taken a permaculture design course in northern Thailand (Panya Project) and has travelled extensively documenting permaculture farms around the world.  Recently, she accompanied soil scientist John D. Liu and cinematographer Pablo Pro to the first Ecosystem Restoration Camp in Spain, where they documented the region and interviewed climate change scientist Professor Millán Millán.

Cori has been programming since she was 12 years old and has taken web development courses with HackerYou (Toronto) and Le Wagon (Lisbon).  In the private sector, she has worked as a digital strategist for a promotional products company.  She has lead responsive web design, branding, and social media planning for clients such as Harvard Medical School.

Cori currently serves as Online Manager for Ecosystem Restoration Camps.  She hopes to weave her interdisciplinary skills to help create restoration camps worldwide.