Landscape & Conservation Planning

Since the beginning of the European settlement, the landscapes and natural ecosystems of southern Ontario have been altered and fragmented more rapidly and extensively than in any comparable period in history. For over a century, conservation and natural resource managers in these settled landscapes have tried to mitigate the negative impacts caused by the loss and fragmentation of natural vegetation cover. The concept of regional systems of ecological networks was introduced to bridge the gap between land use planning and conservation initiatives; to design and establish "green systems" or landscapes made up of core conservation lands and waters linked by natural corridors or restored connections. As landscape networks, they are vital for the conservation of biological diversity, natural processes and viable populations of native species and ecosystems. The methods and approaches used to delineate these green systems need to consider the regional context, explicit conservation targets, stakeholder engagement and scenario planning.

Green Systems Design Planning

A number of local organizations, partners and stakeholders from across southern Ontario are working together regionally to design and plan green systems for their local landscapes. Their efforts to conserve and wisely manage the natural areas on their local landscapes help to maintain a good quality of lif
e for people living in their region.