Empowering communities to restore mangroves

Caux Dialogue on Land and Security 2019

CDLS 2019 Tom Duncan


Tom Duncan is CEO of Earthbanc and passionate about problem solving and strategic systems thinking, primarily in regenerative economics, green finance and financial technology, as a means of restoring relationships between society and nature. He first came to Caux as a Caux Scholar in 2007 and helped to launch the Environment & Economy Group, which was a precursor to the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security (CDLS). He attended CDLS in 2013, 2018 and 2019.


CDLS 2019 panel Laubsch Duncan Brown


For Tom Duncan, the CDLS offers a unique opportunity to explore world problems in an atmosphere of honesty, trust, inspiration and integrity. Time slows down in Caux and the profound can emerge from a place of stillness and quiet, looking out at the majestic mountains and shimmering lake, amongst inspiring changemakers. ‘I have experienced great healing in this place,’ he says. ‘I have made friends for life, and feel that together we can change the world, by bridging its divides and restoring a healthy planet.’

Tom grew up on two Australian farms, one in an inland desert, and the other in mountainous land on the east coast. Inspired by the energy of Caux, he has committed himself to enable land restoration and to help scale up the restoration of mangroves in the delta region of Myanmar.


Bremley Lyngdoh CDLS 2019


He is an entrepreneur and wears several hats professionally, with experience in fund management, technology development, investment banking and commercialization, in many countries and at all levels of society. He advises governments and institutional clients on designing financial instruments to support the upgrade of infrastructure and on the issuance of green bonds on blockchain.

He is now working with others from the CDLS on a project to empower communities in Myanmar, impacted by rising sea levels. Some have lost their homes to cyclonic storm surges. The project will link investment and finance to vulnerable coastal communities, so that they can restore the mangrove forests that defend them against the sea. It will begin with 20,000 ha of degraded mangrove ecosystems in the delta region of Myanmar. Large-scale restoration and marine permaculture here will benefit more than 5,000 households.

Once implemented, this project could be replicated across the remaining 350,000 ha of degraded coast in Myanmar and Bangladesh, enough land to plant between one and three billion mangrove trees by 2050. Three billion mangroves trees would sequester at least three gigatonnes of carbon – about 1.5% of humanity’s total emissions over the past 25 years.

At this year’s CDLS Tom was introduced to Conrad Sangma, the Chief Minister of Meghalaya. He is now developing collaborative partnerships with the Government of Meghalaya to deliver infrastructure to improve water quality, with the potential to deal with the pollution caused by no longer active coal mines. This would enable the Government of Meghalaya to create green jobs for its people, to earn revenue for industry, government and communities, and to protect water sources on which over a billion people depend.

Featured Story

related stories

Visier Sanyu discussion Caux

The Healing Garden of Nagaland

Dr Visier Sanyü often sleeps in his tree house. It’s a feature of the 12-acre Healing Garden which he created in Medziphema, Northeast India. Sanyü, a retired professor of history and archaeology, lik...

Caux Palace view night

Climate and the economy in the post-COVID world

As pandemic-related lockdowns and travel restrictions slowly begin to ease and a return to normal life seems nearer at hand, we are at a critical juncture as to how we choose to act towards our enviro...

Nazarene Mannie

My Learning Story: Nazrene Mannie

Nazrene Mannie is the Executive Director of the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN) and talks about her learning experiences. Our interview series 'My Learning Story’ hopes to become a global learning...

Daniel Clements

From personal change to conference leadership: Daniel Clements

Daniel Clements, the coordinator for this year’s Creative Leadership conference, would not have become involved with Initiatives of Change Switzerand without his father, who recommended that he attend...

COVID 19 slider EN square

The Caux Forum is going online!

Our team together with the international IofC Network is working hard to give you an online 2020 Caux Forum, trying to get you as close as possible to the “Caux experience”. Although we will not be ab...

COVID 19 slider EN final

COVID-19 : The Caux Forum 2020 is being transformed

In light of the global health crisis surrounding coronavirus, as well as its organizational and financial implications, the Council of Initiatives of Change Switzerland has decided to adapt the Caux F...


Job offers for the Caux Forum 2020

For the Caux Forum 2020 IofC Switzerland is looking for a Dining-room Manager, a Cash Desk Manager, a Buffet Manager, an Allocation Manager and a Support Team Manager....

Open House Day group with kids

Internship: Open House Day & Project Support (40%)

IofC Switzerland is looking for an intern who will be in charge of the Open House Day on 5 July 2020. The intern will also support IofC's projects in the area of trustbuilding, in particular with rega...

Caux Palace, credit: Paula Mariane

3 Job Offers: Dining-Room Assistant / Technical Services Assistant / Reception Desk Assistant

You would like to work in an inspring place with people from all over the world? IofC Switzerland is looking for a Reception Desk Assistant, a Technical Services Assistant and a Dining-room Assistant...

Alan Channer Bremen prize

Dr Alan Channer shortlisted for the 2019 Bremen International Peace Prize

Dr Alan Channer, who has been one of the organizers of the Caux Dialogues on Land and Security since their inception, was a runner-up for this year's Bremen International Peace Prize....

Bo Sprotte Kafod

Saving a sacred grove

Bo Sprotte Kafod volunteered to help organize the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security (CDLS) in 2019, after meeting former CDLS participants at the UN climate change conference (UNFCCC COP24) in Katowi...

Oliver Gardiner

Filming regeneration

One-man film crew, Oliver Gardiner, travels to remote regions around the world to tell stories of how people have addressed complex issues through food, farming and land use....

Michael Akampa

Making investment work for the people

The Caux Dialogue on Land and Security (CDLS) in 2017 was a ‘turning point’ for sustainable investment professional, Micheál Akampa, who was invited to speak at its Invest in Peace conference. ‘I met ...

Nhat Vhuong

Plucking water from the air

Webmarketing consultant and social entrepreneur Nhat Vhuong is passionate about tackling water scarcity. A Vietnamese refugee, who grew up in Switzerland, he worked in Japan for eight years before ret...