Welcome to Terraso

A square collage of four pictures. The first picture in the top left corner is of a black man holding a bunch of bananas in one hand and looking at a phone is his other hand. He is standing it what appears to be a lush forest or jungle. The picture in the top right corner is of two males and a female. They are harvesting grain in a field built into a hill side and are looking out over other hills and fields. The picture in the bottom right corner is of an younger asian woman with a basket on her back standing in a field of yellow flowers. The picture in the bottom left corner is of a branch with berries on it and a hand is reaching out and grabbing one of the berries on the branch.

Transitioning to a green, sustainable world is the challenge of our times. It is a challenge that requires bringing together representatives from smallholder farms, local governments, indigenous landholders, civil society, and businesses large and small. Local landscape leaders need tools to help them conserve and develop their land in a way that protects the environment and improves the quality of life of the people who depend on it. That’s why we’re building Terraso, a collection of open source applications and services to help landscapes get the knowledge, tools, and funding they need to regenerate the world they want.

Today we launched terraso.org to share our progress as we develop Terraso. You can look forward to periodic updates on the design, to posts by our partners across the technology, conservation, and development sectors, and to explanations of the things we’re learning as we work with our co-design landscapes. Once Terraso goes live, you’ll be able to create an account and get all the benefits the platform has to offer. (Check out our vision for Terraso to learn more about why and how we want to build the tool.)

As I write this post, we’re building our product roadmap so that everyone — our team, our partners, and our users — can see what we’re working on and what we expect to accomplish. We’ve developed a list of products we think address the challenges landscapes have described, and we’re prioritizing these products based on the needs expressed by our partners and our ability to deliver value through our own work and that of our technology partners.  

We encourage you to read more about the details of  our design process, but here’s the short version: we’re merging the challenges landscapes face — such as lack of access to high-resolution maps, lack of tools for field-based data collection and sharing, and lack of funding for converting to ecologically sustainable practices — with a deep library of tools, both technological and non-technological. We’re part of the 1000 Landscapes for 1 Billion People (1000L) initiative, so we work with a broad array of conservation actors to ground our methods in modern practices. This means that underpinning all of our work is the 1000L Integrated Landscape Management (ILM) framework which guides people living in an ecosystem to join together, agree upon a common vision, and work towards it, learning from their work and each other as they go. 

We don’t want to reinvent existing products with Terraso; we expect to support and link together existing open source and public projects working towards the same goal, benefiting developers and conservation creators and making something greater than the sum of its parts. 

Whether you are a landscape leader looking for resources, a supporter of landscapes seeking to better aid the landscape you care about, or a technology creator looking to collaborate, subscribe to get Terraso email updates and join us on this journey!

Welcome to Terraso

Derek Caelin

Derek Caelin is the Product Manager for Terraso at Tech Matters. Derek is a technologist who has spent years training activists and civil society organizations in developing countries and conflict zones on how to use digital tools to communicate, mobilize, and organize. Derek is particularly focused on creating, researching, and sharing open source technology so that all people can benefit from free, collectively produced software. His writings on community-maintained software, games for social impact, privacy, and the effect of tech platforms on society, have been published in Foreign Policy and OneZero.

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