DOEN Land Restoration Prize

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While land degradation and deforestation date back millennia, industrialization and a rising population have dramatically accelerated the process. Today we are seeing unprecedented land degradation, and the loss of arable land at 30 to 35 times the historical rate.  

Currently, nearly two-thirds of Africa‚Äôs land is degraded, which hinders sustainable economic development and resilience to climate change. As a result, Africa has the largest restoration opportunity of any continent: more than 700 million hectares (1.7 billion acres) of degraded forest landscapes that can be restored. The potential benefits include improved food and water security, biodiversity protection, climate change resilience, and economic growth. Recognizing this opportunity, the African Union set an ambitious target to restore 100 million hectares of degraded land by 2030.  

Land restoration is an urgent response to the poor management of land. Forest and landscape restoration is the process of reversing the degradation of soils, agricultural areas, forests, and watersheds thereby regaining their ecological functionality. According to the World Resources Institute, for every $1 invested in land restoration it can yield $7-$30 in benefits, and now is the time to prove it.  


This challenge aims to find and award the best tech(-enabled) solutions in the land restoration and land degradation space. The challenge aims to find environmental, social and financial startups that are focusing on land restoration activities.  

Criterias of selection

  • Solution can not be older than 4 years and is already tackling a problem in the land restoration space  
  • or and existing startup / young company (<4 years) that is currently not active in the space, but sees opportunity to adapt their current solution to the land restoration space  
  • The solution needs to be scalable or have the potential to reach scalability in low resource areas.  
  • Solution can show clear environmental impact ( reducing a negative impact or business creating a positive impact)  
  • Solution can show clear social impact  
  • Technology startups, tech-enabled startups and/or young companies that can show a clear innovation component (business model innovation or technology innovation)  
  • Preferably, ventures that operate and are based in Africa 



Who should apply? 

 In a nutshell, a specific emphasis is laid on solutions that:  

  • Solutions that finance the restoration of degraded land for production and/or conservation purposes
  • Startup using big data and technology to reverse land degradation
  • Technology used to optimise resource efficiency, reduce impacts on ecosystems and lower carbon emissions
  • Water-Saving Soil Technologies
  • Technologies focused on improving livelihoods and communities 
  • Planning, management and education tools for land restoration 
  • Agriculture (with a focus on precision conservation) and Agro-Forestry
  • Clean Energy solutions that aid in the combat of land degradation 
  • Responsible Eco-Tourism that aids in the support of land restoration  


All Inclusive trip to the Seedstars Africa Summit

The top 3 solutions will be invited for an all inclusive trip to the Seedstars Africa Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa on December 5th for a week long training program and conference

9 Months Access to the Seedstars Investment Readiness Program 

The winner will receive 9 months access to the Seedstars exclusive investment readiness program

10'000 USD Grant

A 10'000 USD grant will be awarded to the winning solution

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