The Open.Landscape.Network was developed from its beginning to help reduce the amount of time and costs that are incurred by projects to meet verifications. Once the information has been organized and shared with a verifying party, updates are shared automatically, according to the agreed communications preferences.
AlVelAl is the first OLN project to successfully complete verification following multiple sustainability certifications. It was important for their community to gain recognition of their investment of effort to become leaders in environmentally sustainable business, and these hopes were satisfied.
The first adopted certification is the new Standard for Field Verification of Forest Ecosystem Restoration, developed by Preferred by Nature™ an EU-based organization that is active worldwide in supporting compliance activities. In the words of the creator of the scheme, "Flexibility is at the heart...as the Standard is adaptable to projects of only a few hectares to much bigger sites." The aim is to track key "core" and "continuous improvement" indicators across a range of biomes, to convey impact and engage funders.
While most impact labels are used to justify increased prices for products, the Ecosystem Restoration Standard is applied project-wide, to help their proponents articulate impact and robust underlying methodologies. The standard helps ensure consistency of monitoring between project managers and verifiers, as well as accountability in delivery and follow-up processes.
PbN is a non-profit supporting better land management and business practices. In the past 25 years, Preferred by Nature worked extensively in forestry certification, assessing projects, companies and providing training in the supply chain. The organization is recognized by the EU as a Monitoring Organization under the EUTR.
Another certification implemented by AlVelAl is the 4 Returns (c) certification for products that have been produced by local cooperatives including La Almendrehesa and others. By helping producers to communicate the impact of the project, and making it easier for customers and interested parties to engage, business opportunities are supported.
Partly due to these indicators of success, the AlVelAl community has received many awards and distinctions, and been able to develop many new business opportunities for its members, from online markets such as AlVelAl Foods, to sustainable eco-tourism opportunities.
The unified access to information, rigorous documentation of processes, and cross-farm interoperability of data/methods provided by the Open Landscape Network helps projects manage certifications, communicate impact, and more easily develop business relationships.