Rebuilding the Earth

Regenerating our planet’s life support systems for a sustainable future

Authors: Everard, Mark

  • Highlights humanity's interdependence with our planet’s ecosystems
  • Brings together widely applicable lessons on positive regenerative change
  • Advocates for practical and integrated sustainable development
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About this book

Rebuilding the Earth highlights humanity’s interdependence with the planet’s ecosystems. Today, these ecosystems are seriously degraded, compromising future security and opportunity. It is essential that we set about rebuilding the metaphorical ‘ark’ of nature upon which our future prospects depend. Central to this book are several case studies of regenerative approaches drawn from every continent on the planet. These approaches are founded on restoration and protection of ecosystems – water and soil, forests, marine and coastal resources, urban infrastructure, farming practices and in corporate supply chains. 
Rebuilding the Earth is above all optimistic about the daunting challenges facing global society. It is about culture change, addressing the necessity of and the means for putting nature and people back into the heart of societal thinking, policy and action. It advocates for sustainable development in its deepest green sense, but also pragmatically framed in social, technological, governance and economic contexts. The concluding message is “Yes, we can!” 

About the authors

Mark Everard is a prolific author, broadcaster and scientist. He is an expert on ecosystem services and the ecosystem-based regeneration of rural livelihoods in both the developing and developed world, with a special interest in water. Mark’s activities span five continents in academic, consultancy, government advisory and policy advocacy roles.


“This is an important and timely book. Mark’s message is clear; it is time to rebuild the Ark. The blueprint for the construction of the Ark is available; Mark provides much needed positive examples of how people have chosen a more sustainable path. Crucially this book is about hope – hope for the planet, hope for nature and hope for humanity.” (Dr Gary Mantle MBE, Chief Executive of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust)

“With the overall pessimism regarding the future of our planet, this book brings some hope that we can still put the boat back to rights. Despite the irresponsible leadership demonstrated across the globe in regards to the destruction of our planet’s resources and ecosystems, the sine qua non condition for life on Earth, as well as towards our current and future wellbeing, Mark attempts, with persistence and perseverance based on good practice, to demonstrate how we can still recover and reactivate the vital functionalities of the system Earth. In my long career promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns, I have encountered far more frustration than effective transformative change, but I am willing to share Mark’s optimism. Let us give it a try, believe and act with an attitude of “Yes, We Can” for the future of Earth, people and humanity.” (Arab Hoballah, Former Chief of Sustainable Consumption and Production/SCP, UNEP)

“The great thing about Mark Everard’s writing is that he combines the philosophical with the practical, making you think more deeply about issues vital to the future wellbeing of the planet – but then he provides potential solutions, and is even optimistic that we can actually deliver some of them and save the environment, on which we are all completely dependent for our own existence, from the havoc we humans are wreaking across the entire globe.” (Paul Knight, Director, Salmon and Trout Conservation UK)

“Here’s the thing: we absolutely know how to restore all the Earth’s critical ecosystems. A combination of ongoing inspired research, by experienced scientists such as Dr Everard, plus a reservoir of ‘recovered wisdom’ from people with deep knowledge of the places in which they live – today’s ‘citizen scientists’, if you like – makes this regenerative agenda practical, scaleable and transformational right now – after decades of degeneration and devastation. But we have to think about these challenges so much more holistically. Astonishingly, today’s climate experts populate one big silo, and biodiversity experts another! The notion of ‘co-benefits’ barely begins to do justice to the emerging revolution in both thinking and practice stimulated by the realisation that we face simultaneous emergencies on both fronts. Which means quite simply that natural climate solutions must become the watchword of the next decade.” (Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director, Forum for the Future)

“This book is a refreshing take on the foremost challenge of humanity. It is a call to embrace opportunities and is well grounded in the delivery of examples—from all nations and continents undergoing different degrees of development—as to regenerative approaches at scales appropriate to the landscapes in question. Calling upon our inner and innate need for survival, the author sets a positive and inclusive tone with a sense that we can learn, contribute and give back to our planet. Dr Everard shows us that solutions are there, and that we have the tools and the intelligence to revive and restore our natural systems through our own ingenuity and experience. Rebuilding and reconnecting to Earth is conveyed as nothing less than a mission; one that is far from impossible.” (Stuart Orr, Freshwater Practice Leader, WWF International)

“A well-written book which communicates powerful messages, based largely upon the author’s own experiences and a lifetime of professional expertise.  This work doesn’t simply identify and describe the problems with Earths’ ecosystems and the services they supply, but also describes realistic solutions based on the premise of reviving and rescuing the natural world in a stepwise manner. Accessible yet erudite, this is a must read for anyone interested in learning how we can begin to reverse the damage we have done to the planet’s ecosystems.” (Dr Paul Johnston, Principal Scientist, Greenpeace International Science Laboratory)

“Sustainable development cannot be achieved simply by ‘lightening our load’ on a seriously degraded and declining natural world. ‘Rebuilding the Earth’ highlights both humanity’s complete interdependence with the natural world, and that any serious engagement with sustainable development must entail rebuilding the foundering structure and functioning of nature as the irreplaceable bedrock of future human security and progress. The book is above all optimistic about the daunting challenges facing global society, its comprehensive range of case studies showing that we not only can but already are making regenerative change in fragmented ways across the world.” (Professor James W S Longhurst, Professor of Environmental Science and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability, University of the West of England (UWE, Bristol))

Buy this book

Softcover $29.99
price for USA in USD

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Rebuilding the Earth
Book Subtitle
Regenerating our planet’s life support systems for a sustainable future
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
Softcover ISBN
Edition Number
Number of Pages
XXIV, 251
Number of Illustrations
7 b/w illustrations, 37 illustrations in colour