What Do We Do?

We want to help catalyse an environmental transformation: a shift from degenerative cycles to regenerative ones; entropic habits to syntropic intelligence.

This ecosystem in which all our lives here are embedded is damaged, degrading and desertifying. After the catastrophic wildfires of October 2017, we see this process accelerating.

We want to stop the decline and transform it into a state of vitality, rich diversity and resilience. And with it our human communities, livelihoods and children’s futures.

THE IMPORTANCE OF LOCAL hydrological cycles

Negatively impacted developed territory

Infographics of the dynamics of small water cycles from Rain for Climate

Healthy  territory

These two infographics of the dynamics of small water cycles are from  Rain for Climate.  Learn more on this website about restoring the climate and the importance of “planting the rain”.



Cycles of entropy - degenerative practices calling out for environmental transformation


Cycles of syntropy: regenerative practives bringing about environmental transformation



The principle drivers of environmental degradation and destruction are common across the world: deforestation, industrial agricultural methods, pollution, urbanisation, over-extraction, exploitation and waste that’s choking our lands and seas.

We might look at our societies and technology and think we are a success, but if our success comes at the expense of the rest of life on Earth, then we have failed. And catastrophically so.

Degradation of human communities must necessarily follow environmental degradation. They are interdependent.

We in these valleys know this only too well.

All of this can be changed. We don’t have to live this way. And neither do we have to return to a past of poverty and backbreakingly hard work to live in tune with natural systems as part of them.

Natural systems are naturally abundant, and in this time of global communication we can learn from sustainable indigenous traditions, from others who have brought about environmental transformation and from Nature itself to regenerate both the biosphere and our relationship with it.

rooted solutions

At root, it’s our single-minded pursuit of singular objectives which has blinded us to the importance of the multitude of complex interrelationships essential to the integrity of the ecosystems on which all life on Earth depends.

To be truly effective, our solutions must be context-specific and rooted in place.

  • local ownership and engagement is ensured
  • the critical diversity underpinning the resilience of living systems is maintained and nurtured

Unrooted ‘solutions’ are ultimately just another part of the problem. There are no one-size-fits-all answers. We cannot engineer our way out of this with technology, large scale interventions and Green New Deals.

Neither can we continue to shift production and lengthen supply chains as we have been doing. There’s simply not enough land left that we haven’t ruined and we’re now jeopardising the viability of the entire planet.

We need to learn to work with natural systems and processes, not against them. And we need to work at local level.

Given this understanding, who better then to devise appropriately-contextualised solutions and lead them into implementation than the people who know a place best? Especially those whose knowledge is lifelong and multigenerational. The people of a place are the ones who live and work there, have a connection to the land there, and have its best interests at heart.

Bad habits have led to bad practices, but large elements of those practices have evolved out of the structural inequalities which shackle rural communities to environmental abuse for the sake of satisfying their basic needs. We need to remove the shackles and allow land and people to recover.

This is the vision and thinking behind ArBOR.

‘living laboratory’

Based on the unique topography and population dynamics of this area, we want to create a ‘living laboratory’ where sustainable and regenerative initiatives can be designed, evolved, trialled, studied, prototyped and disseminated within the surrounding bioregion and beyond.

How the people of a place go about creating community relationships and livelihoods and caring for the land is largely a perfectly natural and spontaneous self-organising process. ArBOR exists to support that process anywhere where the aims meet our regenerative objectives and the legal structure of an association can be of benefit.


First and foremost, we want to catalyse environmental transformation, restoring the hydrological cycles of the area, bringing back abundant clean water, fertile soils, lush woodlands and pastures, a cooler, wetter, less fire-prone climate and a rich diversity of wildlife.

  • We want to create fulfilling, healthy and joyful livelihoods based on an intimate and nurturing relationship with our environment.


We want to help develop sustainable, regenerative, efficient, circular and interdependent approaches to all aspects of individual and community life. This includes the built environment, energy and infrastructure, livelihoods, agriculture, education, healthcare, transport, technology, finance and governance.

We will seek partnerships with appropriate local, national and international entities to enable this.

  • We want to foster an environment where human ingenuity and creativity can flourish and realise its full potential, and where we can share what we learn through this process with others.

See how we put this into action in our Active Projects.

See how we could help you to realise your own project ideas.

See what helps inspire us to do this on our Resources page.

Join us and help support this work!


“Sustainability is not a fixed state to reach and then maintain, it is a community-based learning process aimed at increasing the health and resilience of our communities, our bioregional economies, ecosystems, and of the planetary life-support system as a whole.”

Daniel Christian Wahl, Designing Regenerative Cultures

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Rua da Capela 36

3305-037 Pai das Donas

Coimbra, Portugal