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Conference: Oct 03 2019: Welcome

2019 CASIOPA Conference: Planning Protected Areas & Natural Spaces - Working Together to Conserve Natural Landscapes

Event Date: October 3, 2019

Registration Deadline: September 20, 2019 (in-person)

Where: 300 Water Street, Peterborough, ON


*In person registration closes Sept 20; e-meeting options can register until a few days before the conference.*

This year's theme is "Planning Protected Areas & Natural Spaces - Working Together to Conserve Natural Landscapes"

CASIOPA is a consortium with the main purpose to bring together a diverse set of stakeholders and provide a unique opportunity to discuss, learn and act on issues of science, management and policy in Ontario parks and protected areas.

This year, our theme is “Planning Protected Areas & Natural Spaces Working Together to Conserve Natural Landscapes”. Key topics include:

  • Science-based selection of protected areas

  • Successful partnerships in conservation planning

  • Landscape-level strategizing for protected areas management

The conference will include dynamic speakers and interactive sessions that will appeal to professionals and students from government, private, NGO, and academic sectors in the environmental field. The meeting agenda follows the registration options and links below.

The registration for 2019 will be via Eventbrite and you will have choices of registering for the in person conference, as an individual participating by a single webinar style line, or with colleagues in a couple of locations in Ontario where a group will participate via webinar lines.  Registration options are listed below as separate links; please ensure you choose the registration link that best suits you:

Peterborough Ontario In-Person Registration:

London Ontario Group E-Meeting Registration:

Thunder Bay Ontario Group E-Meeting Registration:

Register for Individual Lines for E-Meeting Participation:

Meeting Agenda (pdf version here)

Morning Session: Presentations and Discussion with Invited Speakers (0900-1200 with a break at 1030)

Julia Baird (Brock University). Environmental governance in an era of disruption: A resilience agenda for protected areas. We are living and working in an era where humans have an unprecedented impact on nature, resulting in a changing climate and complex and non-linear interactions between human and natural systems where predicting outcomes based on historical patterns can be extremely difficult. Protected areas are no exception to these challenges. Resilience – the ability of a system to persist, adapt and transform when needed – offers a way forward in this era of disruption. Resilience is a complex concept that has been distilled down into a series of principles that, when put into practice, creates the potential to navigate uncertainty and surprise in the system. I focus on one critical principle here that holds great potential as a leverage point for system change: complex adaptive systems thinking. To what extent do individuals think from a systems perspective? What are the potential implications of a complex adaptive systems mindset? How might we encourage this mindset? I draw on by past and current work in case studies in North America, Europe and Australia to explore these questions in an environmental governance context and consider how they hold potential for Ontario’s protected areas.

Julia Baird is at Brock University.

Julia's research interests centre around the decision-making processes and actions we take focused on water resources. Dr. Baird aims to:

  • build an understanding of how (and why) people engage in water management and governance, and how the qualities of these processes relate to social and ecological outcomes;

  • examine how the concept of resilience relates to water governance, and how it is operationalized and applied in practice; and,

  • apply the notion of social-ecological systems to agriculture, how these kinds of systems can be modeled, and how those models can be used to improve decision making about practices that influence water resources on agricultural landscapes.

Julia’s research is situated within the field of sustainability science. She collaborates with researchers from diverse disciplines and outside of academia to pursue solutions to research questions. Her research is influenced by her many years on the family farm, her educational background in the natural sciences, and her keen interest in how people make decisions and take action to impact the sustainability of our water resources.


Mark Stabb (Nature Conservancy Canada). Tallgrass Awakening: Landscape-scale conservation and restoration of tallgrass ecosystems in the Rice Lake Plains. Over the last 20 years the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has moved from opportunistic land conservation to strategic habitat conservation in priority landscapes. The Rice Lake Plains Natural Area Conservation Plan (NACP), NCC’s first such plan, was prepared in 2005 to focus conservation on the globally-significant tallgrass ecosystems on the Oak Ridges Moraine in Northumberland County. Since then NCC has secured more than 840 ha (>2,000 acres) of significant tallgrass prairie, black oak savanna, black oak woodland and other habitats, and are actively managing them all to conserve and enhance their tallgrass elements. From the outset, NCC has also collaborated with Alderville First Nation, Ontario Parks, conservation authorities, local land trusts and others in the Rice Lake Plains Partnerships – to foster tallgrass conservation and other habitat stewardship across the landscape. There are great successes to report, but much more remains to be done.  NCC is now in the process of updating our NACP and to expand its boundary, scope, reach and  impact. This presentation will focus on the Rice Lake Plains NACP as an example of NCC’s approach, and will also touch on some of NCC’s other planning and conservation activities in the province.

Mark Stabb is with the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Mark is the Nature Conservancy of Canada's (NCC's) program director for Central Ontario – East and has overseen conservation projects across the Oak Ridges Moraine, in the Rice Lake Plains, on the limestone landscape of the Napanee Plain and around Prince Edward County and the islands and shores of the eastern Lake Ontario coast. Before joining NCC in 2006, Mark worked as a biologist with MNR, a park planner with Ontario Parks, as a teacher at a community college, as a wetland program manager and as a freelance writer and ecological consultant. An avid hiker and naturalist, Mark’s current fascination is with exploring the landscape legacy associated with glacial Lake Iroquois. Mark lives with his partner and two daughters (and his ‘prairie’ dog Ella) in Uxbridge, where they can be found on local trails searching for flying squirrels.


John Kintare (Kawartha Land Trust). Protecting the land you love: Natural heritage system implementation through community conservation. Since 2001, Kawartha Land Trust (KLT) has been working with private landowners to conserve the natural environment in the Kawarthas. They do this by accepting donations of land and/or interests in land such as Conservation Easement Agreements and engaging the community in support of this work to ensure that these lands are cared for in perpetuity. KLT has evolved into one of Canada’s leading and fastest growing land trusts, formally protecting over 4,000 acres across 17 properties in the Kawarthas. KLT is also helping others steward and restore additional properties through KLT’s stewardship on private lands initiative and land management agreements, including a 400-acre property owned by Trent Severn Waterway, Parks Canada. There are many threats looming on the landscape and KLT is a critical part of the solution. In this session, John will share how KLT has capitalized on local resources and partnerships to identify key areas of our natural heritage system that need to be protected; how KLT’s model of Community Conservation protected Big (Boyd/Chiminis) Island, the largest undeveloped island in the Kawarthas; and how that model will advance land conservation in the coming years. The next few years will bring the largest inter-generational transfer of land and wealth in history, so now is the time to protect the land you love before it’s gone.

John Kintare became Executive Director of Kawartha Land Trust in February 2019 inheriting a vibrant, dynamic and growing organization from his predecessor, Mike Hendren. John has been involved in the non-profit and academic management sector for over a decade and has worked at the Cowichan Green Community, the Calgary Public Library Foundation, and most recently as the Executive Officer of the Peterborough and Kawarthas Home Builders Association. As a Permaculture designer also educated in complex systems thinking from the University of Waterloo, John enjoys discovering unique solutions to the complex problems facing our society today.


Rob Davis (Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation & Parks). Working together in Ontario to assess and report natural areas toward Canada’s international biodiversity targets.  An important part of working together to conserve natural landscapes is to recognize what areas are already protected by a broad range of collaborators, including public, private and Indigenous conservation partners. For three years, Ontario has been working with conservation partners to assess a range of natural areas as potential protected areas or “OECMs” (Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures) and to report qualifying areas to the national database, where they can be counted toward the 17% figure in Aichi Target 11 and Canada Target 1. This presentation outlines the criteria for areas to count as protected areas or OECMs, approaches that Ontario has taken to working with partners, outlines the results to date and shares some lessons learned.

Rob Davis is with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation & Parks (OMECP).  Rob is manager with Protected Areas Section in Ontario Parks, MECP. The section has the lead for legislation and policies that guide the establishment, planning and management of provincial parks and conservation reserves. Rob has been with Ontario’s protected areas program since 2001. Before that, he worked in forest management with MNRF and the forest industry. He holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Forestry from the University of Toronto. Rob is into cycling, paddling and live music including volunteering on the board for the Peterborough Folk Festival and hosting house concerts in his living room.

Lunch for those attending in-person (catered and included in your registration fee) - 1200-1300

Break-out facilitated discussions for those attending in-person or at the London or Thunder Bay e-meeting sites - 1300-1550 (includes a break at 1430). Backrgrounders/details are provided in the agenda downloadable pdf (see above link)
Session 1. Science-based criteria for identifying new protected areas in Ontario.
Session 2. Integrating protected areas into landscape management.
Session 3. Collaborative conservation planning.

Conference: Oct 03 2019: Text

This conference will have dynamic, interactive sessions with professionals from the government, private, NGO, and academic sectors. See you there!

Key Topics:

Science-based selection of protected areas, successful partnerships in conservation planning, landscape-level strategizing for protected areas management.

Conference: Oct 03 2019: Image
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