May 16, 2019 | 2:30-5:30pm

Climate Action Is On! Driving Drawdown & Resilience Through Landscape Partnerships

Birdsall House, 2055 L Street NW, Washington, DC

Join us in DC or online for a compelling conversation between four leaders on climate action.

Last year highlighted the mounting challenges posed by climate change, with the release of the 2018 IPCC report, the Global Climate Action Summit in California,  international student strikes and numerous climate-related emergencies.

More people and organizations are advocating for all-hands-on-deck to take action. The need to amplify the solutions already in our midst has highlighted opportunities in the agriculture and land use sectors. Innovative, locally-led solutions to climate challenges are accelerating in the United States and around the world, through climate-smart agriculture and climate-resilient landscapes. These merit more serious attention from national and international policymakers, as possibly the clearest pathway to the scale of change we need.

In this exciting event our speakers will share stories of state and local climate action in agriculture, forestry, and land use that are driving carbon drawdown and resilience, and how we all can join in to help scale them up and out.


Ben Grumbles – Secretary of the Environment, State of Maryland

Ivy Moraes – Global Policy Director, Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development (nrg4SD)

Shyla Raghav – Climate Change Lead, Conservation International

Fred Yoder – Farmer, steering committee member of Ohio Smart Agriculture, and Board Member of Solutions from the Land

See speaker biographical information below

The event will feature a lively panel discussion among the speakers, with welcome remarks and moderation from FAO-North America and EcoAgriculture Partners, who have teamed up to bring you this event as part of their “Towards Sustainable Landscapes” speaker series. We hope you will join us for what promises to be a fascinating  and important discussion.

Participate Online

Stream here or on YouTube

Send questions or comments using the hashtag #ClimateActionisON or by commenting on YouTube.

Event Program


Doors Open


Panel Discussion and Audience Q&A

Opening remarks and welcome from Sara J. Scherr (President of EcoAgriculture Partners) and Vimlendra Sharan (Director of the FAO Liaison Office for North America).

Fred Yoder, Ivy Moraes and Ben Grumbles join in a spirited dialogue, moderated by Sara Scherr, to discuss the power and promise of subnational action to combat climate change. With perspectives from the public sector, private sector and civil society, our speakers will share how local and state level action on climate has the power to deliver far more for communities than just carbon sequestration.

They will explore how their own work building coalitions to deliver landscape-scale solutions to shared challenges has brought them into partnership with unlikely allies and across fraught boundaries, demonstrating that when solution-making is relocalized, much of the partisan and ideological division we experience in our politics gets out of the way.



All are invited to stay, discuss and network. Appetizers and refreshments available.

Speaker Biographies

Ben Grumbles

Secretary of the Environment, Maryland

Ben Grumbles is Maryland’s Secretary of the Environment. He was appointed by Governor Larry Hogan and confirmed by the Maryland Senate in 2015. His duties also include serving as Chair of the Governor’s Chesapeake Bay Cabinet and Chair of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and member of the Ozone Transport Commission and the Susquehanna River Basin Commission. Ben has served as President of the U.S. Water Alliance, Director of Arizona’s Department of Environmental Quality, EPA Assistant Administrator for Water, and senior staffer and counsel for the Transportation and Infrastructure and Science Committees in the U.S Congress. He’s lived, worked, and played in the Chesapeake Bay watershed since 1985.


Ivy Moraes

Sustainable Development Policy Officer, nrg4SD

Ivy Moraes is the Sustainable Development Policy Officer of the Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development (nrg4SD). She is committed to social and environmental responsibility, and brings experience in advocacy, research, policy analysis, and program management with focus on international cooperation and sustainability. At nrg4SD, she leads on the 2030 Agenda and SDGs. She strives to improve the capacities of subnational governments in the process of localizing the SDGs and reporting their progress within their territorial perspectives. She also manages collaborative projects, being able to provide expertise and tools that could be replicated and showcased.

In her career, she has been consistently highlighting and promoting greater coherence and stronger partnerships across various stakeholders as well as fostering transparency, accountability, and social control. She has held positions at São Paulo City Hall, UN-Habitat, the Inter-American Development Bank, among others. She holds bachelor’s degrees in International Relations and in Social Sciences, also a master’s degree in Public Administration and Government with specialization in Government and Civil Society in the Subnational Context.

Shyla Raghav

Climate Change Lead, Conservation International

Shyla Raghav is Climate Change Lead at Conservation International, where she drives the organization’s climate change strategy to secure and maximize nature’s potential as a climate solution. Shyla has worked at the World Bank, Adaptation Fund, United Nations Development Programmme, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and was deeply involved in the Paris Agreement. From both California and northern India, Shyla studied applied ecology and international relations at the University of California, Irvine and earned her master’s degree in environmental management from Yale University. She has worked on both climate change mitigation and adaptation – and is a key communicator in the climate movement. She was recently named one of InStyle Magazine’s BadAss Women.

Fred Yoder

Farmer, chair of the North American Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance

Fred Yoder is a fourth-generation farmer who has lived and farmed near Plain City, Ohio, for more than 40 years. Along with his wife, Debbie, and his two children, he grows corn, soybeans and wheat on his farm of 1,800 acres. His family also operates a retail seed and precision planter business, as well as serving as an agronomic consultant to many area farmers.

Fred has served as President of the National Corn Growers Association. He has also served for many years in the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association in various leadership positions. He also served as Chairman of the NCGA’s Biotech Working Group, which helped to develop protocols to ensure that new emerging technologies could be used safely on the farm while protecting other existing crop systems.

Fred has traveled many times to the European Union to speak about co-existence of production systems, where both organic and other production systems can thrive side by side as neighbors. He is spending a great deal of time these days looking at ways to deal with increasing corn demand while addressing the issues of pending climate policy, conservation, and sustainability concerns. He is a co-chair of the Board of Directors of “Solutions from the Land,” a non-profit organization working with the World Bank to organize the “Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture,” enabling developed and developing countries to ramp up global food production and distribution in a sustainable way, and serves as chair of the “North American Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance,” a regional chapter that facilitates the global initiative.