|A recent project led by Samantha Dunlop (with Ulinks, Trent University and in partnership with The Land Between charity), explored the various policies that upper and lower tier municipalities have to support or protect biodiversity; Policies that deal with shorelands, set backs, lighting, green spaces, noise and others.
In this project, the municipalities in the west half of the region of City of Muskoka, Haliburton, Peterborough, and Hastings were researched and planners were also surveyed to explore issues related to biodiversity protection.
The project is the first phase for a longer program that The Land Between and in partnership with Watersheds Canada is launching, titled Planning for Our Shorelands. This research revealed some surprising results, where Muskoka, with the largest development footprint, has most comprehensive policy levers when compared to other areas. This result is perhaps the outcome of the capacity of the municipality itself, or because of their tenure in dealing with development at higher scales- or both. The summaries and report is not only interesting in revealing trends, but it will help the Land Between and partners at Watersheds Canada, direct efforts in providing resources, education, and supports to fill gaps in the region. The resources will also serve to guide landowners, giving them tools that they may not have known existed in their communities, or to examples to follow to support their own conservation efforts.
Note: While this is a great resources to help on a site by site basis, however recent changes to most environmental and planning legislation by the Ontario government has meant that Ministerial Zoning Orders can choose who and where any development can happen. To find out more read our blog