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Environment and Sustainable Development (ESD) Committee

Advocating for our environment, natural resources, and how climate change affects women and girls

NFBPWC is mindful of the effect that we have on our environment and natural resources, as well as how climate change disproportionally affects women and girls. To us, that includes how we perform as a steward of the environment, the decisions we make as an organization, and how we manage our relationships with members, communities and partners.


On June 5th, 2023, Marikay Shellman & Megan Shellman-Rickard were featured in an article by The Durango Herald. Their innovative approach, highlighted in the recent article, reveals how planting more trees on their ranch has become a game-changer amidst challenging drought conditions.

Discover their inspiring story of sustainability and how they're redefining ranching practices for a greener future!

Read Article

UPCOMING EVENTS *All times are in ET unless otherwise noted

  • More upcoming events coming soon!

Committee Scope

The Environment & Sustainable Development committee focuses on:

  • Raising awareness about the interdependencies between the environment and our health and well-being, especially in the context of climate change
  • Empowering our members and their communities with the knowledge and tools to address environmental degradation and climate change
  • Helping more women take seats at the decision-making table where environmental and developmental decisions that affect our communities are made
  • Supporting the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) -- a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

A disproportionate impact on women and girls

  • Women and girls around the globe are challenged to have access, use and control of natural resources, as well as the right to a clean, safe and healthy environment. Our committee also works to identify and support gender responsive approaches in addressing barriers to sustainable development.

RECENT Articles / Useful links


Contact Committee Chair, Marikay Shellman:

Marikay owns and manages a 40-acre organic ranch on which she raises beef cattle, grows apples, and keeps bees in Durango, CO. As a member of Xerces Society, she promotes the preservation of pollinators and developing carbon sequestration solutions through healthy soils. Her ranch is within La Plata Open Space’s conservation easements (meaning it cannot be developed in perpetuity) and contains seven ponds dedicated to Colorado Parks & Wildlife as wetlands. Marikay is also an accomplished artist and a children's book author.


Daneene is a Registered Nurse and a life/supplemental health insurance expert based in Cleveland, OH. As the VP of Advocacy for NFBPWC, she serves as the bridge to other related organizations / initiatives and brings valuable health-related perspectives, while promoting the “little” things we can do in our daily lives to help make a positive impact on our environment.

Laurie is a musician and an activist who promotes zero waste and conservation through a multimedia environmental presentation, Space Earth: What Can I Do? She was the Founding Chair of NFBPWC's Environmental Committee and currently serves as Chair of BPW/Colorado's Environment & Sustainable Development Committee.


Sue is a TESOL (Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages)-certified teacher and an editor who pioneered teaching online long before it became the new normal. As a native of the Detroit Metro Area and an involved member of her community on environmental and equity issues, she has had close encounters with environmental challenges and their impact on people's livelihoods.

Kalee is a Treasury Management professional at a small community bank in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. She has lived her life always admiring the beauty of nature through exploring the outdoors and is passionate about her small backyard vegetable garden. She aspires to make a difference in her community and tackle environmental challenges one day at a time.

Dina serves as a trauma-informed youth leadership coach for global youth and humanitarian organizations, however, she was first formally trained in fashion design. After a 20 year career in the international fashion industry she founded "greensanity designs" as a hobby to help consumers understand the impact of--and end--their consumption of single-use plastics and fast fashion. Dina uses her creativity to imagine new possibilities for the world.


Equal Participation of Women and Men in Power and Decision-Making Roles


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