March 30, 2021 | 9-11 am (EST)

FAO-EcoAgriculture Partners Independent Dialogue for the United Nations Food System Summit: Strengthening Landscape Partnerships: A “game-changing” solution?

March 30th, 2021

9:00 AM-11:00 AM, EST

Online Only via Zoom (register here)


Join us for an Independent Dialogue convened by FAO North America and EcoAgriculture Partners to discuss landscape partnerships in the context of the United Nations Food System Summit (UNFSS). The UNFSS will be looking for bold actions to receive global support and mobilization to transform food systems inclusively. Partners of the 1000 Landscapes for 1 Billion People initiative have proposed a “game-changing solution” to institutionalize support to “Strengthen Landscape Partnerships” as a means to promote nature-positive production, resilience, sustainable development and human rights around the world.

Our event will be part of the UNFSS Dialogue series. Panelists from UNFSS Action Tracks, FAO and Landscape Leaders will discuss the role of Landscape Partnerships in sustaining global food systems and the types of institutional support they need to be a ‘game-changing’ solution for food systems transformation in the context of post-covid recovery and beyond.

We invite everyone working to advance integrated landscape management and food systems transformation to join this Dialogue.




Welcome – Vimlendra Sharan, FAO-North America

Introduction and Objectives – Sara Scherr, EcoAgriculture Partners

UN Food Systems Summit: where we are and what is the role of landscapes?

  • Martin Frick, Deputy to the Special Envoy for the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit
  • Joao Campari, WWF, Lead, UNFSS Action Track on Nature-Positive Production

Panel 1: What support do Landscape Partnerships need and want?   

  • Maria Sengelela, Solidaridad Network, Mt Kilimanjaro Landscape, Tanzania
  • Percy Summers, Conservation International, Alto Mayo Landscape, Peru
  • Pat O’Toole, Ladder Ranch and Family Farm Alliance, Wyoming, USA. Board Member of Solutions from the Land.
  • Leonel Requena, UNDP Small Grants Programme, Belize Barrier Reef

Participant inputs

Panel 2: How can organizations supporting Landscape Partnerships be more effective?

  • Ernesto Herrera, Mexico, Reforestamos
  • Phemo Kgomotso, Senior Technical Advisor, Sustainable Land Management and Restoration – Nature, Climate and Energy, UN Development Program
  • Mathilde Iweins, Project Development & Implementation Expert, Forest & Landscape Restoration, FAO

Participant inputs           

Comments from the speakers—how to move this agenda forward?

Next steps and closing – Sara Scherr, Vimlendra Sharan


Short biographies

Joao Campari has over 25 years of experience in international development. Currently, Joao is Global Leader of WWF’s Food Practice, leading the Network´s efforts to enhance the sustainability of the global food system, including nature-positive production, sustainable diets and reduction of food loss and waste. Prior to WWF, Joao held the position of Special Environmental and Sustainability Advisor to Brazil´s Minister of Agriculture.  Currently, he serves as Chair of Action Track 3 of the UN Food Systems Summit (Boost Nature-Positive Production).


Martin Frick is the Deputy of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Food System Summit 2021. He served before as the Senior Director of UN Climate Change where he was overseeing the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the secretariat’s Climate Action work.  As programme director for former Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Foundation, he developed the founding narrative of climate justice. He previously served as Director for Climate Change at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. He was the German representative for human rights and humanitarian affairs at the UN General Assembly and served as the European Union’s lead negotiator in the establishment of the UN Human Rights Council. As Ambassador to the international organizations based in Germany, he helped building up the UN’s sustainability hub in Bonn. He holds a PhD in Law from Regensburg University and was a guest lecturer at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.


Ernesto Herrera is based in Mexico and has worked in the private, government and civil society sectors. Ernesto Herrera has been the executive director of Reforestamos since its creation in 2002. He currently chairs the Mesoamerican Committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN. Ernesto collaborates on the board of directors of other civil society organizations and is interested in multisectoral alliances, in Mexico and Latin America, to guarantee transparency, legality and responsibility in order to ensure landscape sustainability. He is an industrial engineer from the Universidad Iberoamericana and has a master’s degree in environmental administration from the University of Waikato, in New Zealand.


Mathilde Iweins is currently in charge of the Asia Pacific portfolio of the FLRM, developing and implementing projects in the region. She joined the Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism group in 2015 as an expert on ecosystem services, full cost accounting and local finance. She is a French agronomist with over 15 years of professional experience in natural resources management linked to sustainable agriculture and forestry, poverty alleviation and food security. She worked for NGOs, bi and multilateral agencies, coordinating the design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of field projects linking sustainable natural resources management and long-term rural development.


Phemo Kgomotso is a Senior Technical Advisor – Sustainable Land Management and Restoration with UNDP, based in Istanbul. For the last 6 years, Phemo has been part of a team of technical advisors at UNDP who support governments to develop and implement initiatives to address global environmental problems and to meet their commitments and obligations under the Rio Conventions. Her work has focused on the CBD and UNCCD work and specifically on themes related to integrated landscape management and SLM and restoration, sustainable agriculture and food systems.


Mary Ladislaus Sengelela is a Senior Project Officer for Solidaridad East and Central Africa – Tanzania. Mary has vast experience in the management of agriculture, natural resources and climate change projects.  For the last 4 years she managed the implementation of the “Sustainable Landscapes Innovation (SLI)”, A Solidaridad project that brought together diverse actors to support conservation work for the Kilimanjaro ecosystem. Mary instilled the Multi-stakeholder approach within the Kilimanjaro region aimed at facilitating coordination, information sharing and influencing policies and practices on sustainable ecosystems management, food production and income generation from ecosystem services. Mary facilitated Multi-Stakeholder Platforms at the village, district and national level, enabling communities around the Kilimanjaro ecosystem to develop land based innovations with best practices that balance production and conservation, striking across, were efforts to increase sustainable land use by communities in Northern Tanzania, a process that has enhanced food production by the Maasai communities bordering the Kilimanjaro and Amboseli National park.


Patrick O’Toole represents the fourth generation of six generations at family-owned Ladder Ranch, while also serving as a board member for “Solutions from the Land”. The O’Tooles raise cattle, sheep, horses, dogs and children on their high country ranching operation. The transhumance operation stretches from north of Steamboat Springs, Colorado to Wyoming’s Red Desert. Pat has served in the Wyoming House of Representatives, the Western Water Policy Commission, and is currently President of the Family Farm Alliance, representing irrigators and water users in the western United States.


Leonel Requena serves as Belize`s National Coordinator for the UNDP/GEF Small Grants Programme managing the country team, leading program/portfolio development and management, fostering strategic partnerships and resource mobilization including knowledge management and strategic communications. He is a sustainable development specialist with 16 years’ experience championing collaborative community stewardship of landscape and seascapes fostering nature-based solutions.  He has contributed to several local and international UNDP/GEF/SGP publications. He is a trained UN Cares Facilitator. Leonel can be reached at


Sara Scherr is the President and CEO of EcoAgriculture Partners. Dr. Scherr is an agricultural and natural resource economist specializing in land management policy in tropical developing countries. She has been a prominent voice globally in promoting the restoration of degraded agricultural lands for food security and rural livelihoods and is a leading innovator in integrated landscape management. She is an expert in the economics of sustainable agriculture and agroforestry and the design of payments to farmers and farming communities for ecosystem stewardship. She founded EcoAgriculture Partners in 2002, and in 2011 co-founded the global Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative. She serves on the U.S. board of the international agricultural biodiversity research organization Bioversity International, on the advisory boards of Food Tank, the Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research, and the UN Agri-food Task Force, and on the board of U.S. non-profit Solutions from the Land.


Vimlendra Sharan is the Director of the FAO Liaison Office for North America. Mr. Sharan brings with him more than two decades of national and international government leadership experience focusing on rural development, agriculture and food security issues. Mr Sharan has worked with the Indian Government extensively in rural and tribal areas of Maharashtra and has also been actively involved in agriculture and food policy formulation working with the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in New Delhi. He comes to Washington from his previous posting as Permanent Representative of India to the Rome based UN Agencies where he served as the Vice President of the World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Board, Chairman of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Evaluation Committee, Asia Group representative on FAO Programme Committee, and a member of the FAO Council. Mr Sharan holds a degree in Economics from University of Delhi, India and a MBA in Public Policy from University of Birmingham, UK.


Percy Summers is currently the Senior Director of Science and Development for Conservation International. He previously held the position of Director of the Sustainable Landscape Partnership, which aimed to establish a public-private facility to promote low carbon emission businesses in the Alto Mayo basin in the North-Eastern Peruvian Amazon. Percy has been part of the CI Peru Team since 2009 when he joined as the Ecosystem Services Coordinator leading the identification and study of ecosystem services schemes, including one of the first REDD+ projects in a Natural Protected Area. He holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Design and Planning from Virginia Tech, a MSc in Tropical Forestry from the National Institute of Amazonian Research (INPA) in Manaus, Brazil, and a Forestry Science degree from North Carolina State.


About the Series

The Landscape Dialogue is part of an on-going series of discussions focusing on climate change, agriculture and landscapes. EcoAgriculture Partners and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Liaison Office for North America have jointly organized the series since 2009.