The Ripple Effect

Forests Ontario’s Annual Conference will be held this year in Alliston, Ontario at the Nottawasaga Inn and Convention Centre on Friday, February 9th, 2018. The Annual Conference is Ontario’s largest forestry conference bringing together more than 300 attendees from Conservation Authorities, municipalities, environmental non-governmental organizations, provincial governments, as well as landowners, educators and students.

The 2018 Conference theme is “The Ripple Effect”, exploring Climate Change from a variety of different aspects. The Annual Conference is an opportunity to learn more about current issues and opportunities facing our forests. The conference also provides important networking opportunities for those owning and working in our forests, with the overall goal of increasing the awareness of the value of our forests.

Economies in an age of limits

The Canadian Society for Ecological Economics conference usually features content about natural capital and ecosystem services that’s relevant to Ontario. I will post more information here when the program becomes available.

Latornell Symposium

A draft program is not yet out, but the theme is:

“ecological, policy and organisational succession, and continuing contributions to knowledge. Let us explore where we have been, how that has informed who we are today, and where we are headed.”

TEEB-AgriFood Canada

This is an exciting opportunity to meet with three global leaders in the field of environmental economics and true cost accounting while they are in Toronto.

The objectives of the workshop are to:

Introduce researchers, businesses and government in Canada to TEEB-AgriFood and to the potential benefits of doing full-cost accounting studies using the valuation framework.

Solicit feedback on how TEEB-AgriFood can be strengthened and enhanced as an innovative solution to the complex and entrenched ecological and societal challenges we face.

Generate ideas and concrete actions on how to apply TEEB-AgriFood’s cutting-edge framework to work in Canada with key stakeholders.

Natural Capital in Ontario

The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation is hosting a full day workshop on natural capital valuation methods and management in partnership with the Natural Capital Lab and Ontario Network for Ecosystem Services.

The workshop will be relevant to municipalities, conservation authorities and other stakeholders interested in learning about recent advances in natural capital valuation and its applications from local and national projects.

This workshop will provide delegates:

An introduction to natural capital valuations and the work of the Natural Capital Lab.

A detailed understanding of the valuation process and available data sources using ‘Ontario’s Good Fortune; Appreciating the Greenbelt’s Natural Capital’ as an example

An introduction and progress update from the Municipal Natural Assets Initiative pilots including Peel and Oakville.

Break out sessions on how and why natural capital can be applied in your local context

Grey to Green

Grey to Green: Quantifying Green Infrastructure Performance

This conference is the leading forum for designers, policy makers, manufacturers, growers, landscapers, and other green infrastructure professionals to discuss the benefits of the important green infrastructure industry, and how to grow it even further.

This interdisciplinary conference explores the latest science on green infrastructure performance, economic valuation and public policy developments, new technological developments, and best practices in design, installation and maintenance. The conference also includes a trade show, cutting edge workshops which include tours of outstanding projects, and special networking events.

Why We Need to Change How We Measure Our Wealth

Comprehensive wealth (or inclusive wealth) is about measuring what matters in the long run.

It focuses on the role of people, the environment, and the economy in creating and sustaining well-being. It goes beyond merely measuring gross domestic product (GDP) and addresses issues that GDP cannot capture on its own.

Made up of five components: produced, financial, natural, human and social capital, comprehensive wealth is the holistic approach that will prove key to successfully guiding Canada through the 21st century and beyond.

You need to register in order to participate.

Forests Ontario Annual Conference

This conference brings together forestry and natural resource professionals, government staff, private landowners and the general public. Draft Agenda

Introducing the Municipal Natural Asset Initiative

Learn more about innovative Canadian municipalities that are incorporating natural capital into core financial, asset management and infrastructure decision-making.

We will introduce the Municipal Natural Asset Initiative (MNAI), a platform for leading municipalities to experiment and innovate with natural capital through a series of pilot projects aimed at refining and replicating the Town of Gibsons’ Eco Asset Strategy.

The goal of the MNAI is to support municipalities in recognizing, measuring and managing the contribution natural systems make to people and municipal service delivery, using municipal asset management business processes.

This webinar will introduce participants to the Town of Gibsons’ Eco Asset Strategy, discuss how MNAI is scaling this strategy through a series of pilot projects, and describe how you can participate in shaping the future of natural capital valuation through the Natural Capital Lab.

Webinar Speakers:
John Purkis, Director, Natural Capital Lab
Roy Brooke, Director, Municipal Natural Asset Initiative
Emanuel Machado, Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Gibsons, B.C.
Michelle Molnar, Environmental Economist, David Suzuki Foundation.

Accounting for Canada's Natural Capital: Introducing the Natural Capital Protocol

For the past two years, the Natural Capital Coalition has worked with over 200 organizations spanning business, conservation, research, finance and policy to develop the Natural Capital Protocol. The Protocol helps businesses to identify, measure and value their impacts and dependencies on natural capital. Developing this capacity will better position businesses to respond to emerging risks as well as identify new market opportunities in a resource constrained world.

During this webinar, participants will receive an introduction to the Protocol from Mark Gough, Executive Director of the Natural Capital Coalition. Participants will learn about innovative pilot projects currently testing the Protocol and how applying the Protocol in your organization can create value and lead to stronger decision-making.

This webinar is co-hosted by the Natural Capital Lab, Deloitte, and the Natural Capital Coalition.

Latornell Symposium about Green Infrastructure

Applied in both rural and urban settings, green infrastructure supports the environment, the economy, and our quality of life in a variety of ways. Green infrastructure includes living systems such as natural areas, forests, parks, streams and riparian zones, wetlands and agricultural lands, as well as engineered facilities such as green roofs, rain gardens and stormwater ponds. It can be implemented at multiple scales including regional networks of open spaces, agricultural lands, natural areas, and through site-specific practices.

The 2016 Latornell Conservation Symposium will showcase green infrastructure, and identify how it is supported, protected, and enhanced in our watersheds. Delegates will explore its applicability and benefits in relation to important issues in Ontario such as climate change, biodiversity loss, water management, economic development, improving public health, and fostering sustainable communities.

Several members of ONES will be presenting during sessions.

Grey to Green

Grey to Green Conference 2016 includes a two full-day program with 52 presentations and panel discussions from over 60 industry experts. This conference is the leading forum for designers, policy makers, manufacturers, growers, landscapers, and more to discuss the benefits of the important green infrastructure industry, and how to grow it even further. The interdisciplinary conference will explore the latest science on green infrastructure performance, economic valuation and public policy developments, new technological developments, and best practices in design, installation and maintenance. The conference also includes a trade show, cutting edge training courses, tours of outstanding projects and networking special events.

Incorporating Ecosystem Services into Decision-Making

The Ecosystem Services Partnership will host a webinar about the newly released (USA) White House memorandum on “Incorporating Ecosystem Services into Decision-Making.” You can read the White House Memorandum as well as the White House Blog post on the memorandum here:

2016 Forests Ontario Conference

The Annual Forests Ontario Conference is Ontario’s largest forestry conference. Close to 300 attendees join us every year to explore timely topics that help landowners and forestry professionals learn more about ways to manage their forests. The conference is a great networking opportunity, and an excellent time to meet those from around Ontario that are passionate about our forests.

Save the date! The 2016 Forests Ontario Conference will be taking place on Friday, February 5th at the Nottawasaga Inn, Alliston. Information about the 2016 Annual Conference will be posted in Fall 2016.

Biodiversity Offsetting Law and Policy

At the Biodiversity Offsetting Law and Policy workshop, Ontario Nature will present a new report that compares law and policy internationally across six jurisdictions, analyzing strengths, weaknesses and gaps, and providing recommendations.

The purpose of the workshop is to introduce participants to a range of policy options on a number of key biodiversity offsetting issues and to advance dialogue about policy development in Ontario.

The workshop is intended for a wide range of interests and will feature David Poulton, the author of the report. Mr. Poulton, M.A., LL.M, completed a graduate thesis on conservation offsetting for Alberta and is one of the leaders in the Alberta Association for Conservation Offsets.

Natural Capital: Its Significance to Business & Society At Large

Please join The University of Toronto’s School of the Environment’s Environmental Finance Advisory Committee on June 4, 2015 at the offices of Torys LLP for “Natural Capital: Its Significance to Business & Society At Large”

Natural Capital is an emerging topic gaining great interest with the business and accounting communities. The academic community has long advocated that society is not according appropriate value to the wide range of ecological goods and services provided by Nature – services such as water regulation, air quality, carbon storage, habitat, and food production, among many others. This seminar is designed to give a broad overview of the many types of goods and services provided by Nature and approaches to placing a financial value on them.

Innovative approaches to financially valuing the natural world is already underway and affecting the way that many businesses manage their supply chains and create social license to conduct their operations. It is hoped that by establishing more formal ways to both holistically value and account for Nature’s services, society may be better-positioned to understand the true costs and trade-offs associated with managing and sustaining so many of the world’s finite natural resources.

The Committee is delighted to announce that it has assembled thought leaders with expertise in this rapidly emerging topic.

Panel Discussion with:

Brian DePratto, Environmental Economist, TD Canada Trust

Dan Kraus, Senior Director of Conservation Program Development, The Nature Conservancy of Canada

Barb Steele, Managing Director, Natural Step

Steve Hounsell, Chair, Ontario Biodiversity Council

Moderator: Patricia A. Koval, Partner, Torys LLP

There will be a Q&A session following the presentations.

Realizing the health benefits of green spaces in a changing world

EcoHealth Ontario and the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation are pleased to present a workshop on Realizing the Health Benefits of Green Spaces in a Changing World

There is growing understanding of the complex linkages between the natural and built environments and human health. Nature can help mitigate a wide range of physical and mental illnesses associated with modern lifestyles, urbanization, and changing climate.

Unfortunately, current patterns of urban development are eroding and reducing access to natural areas and affecting the capacity of human settlements to be resilient to extreme weather events.

This workshop will facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue among public health, medical, planning, parks, recreation, forestry, watershed management, and education professionals.

Discussions will explore creative policies, programs, and outreach approaches that could be used to enhance human health through increased quality and diversity of urban and rural green spaces. Case studies of the Ontario Greenbelt, watersheds and urban green spaces will be used to illustrate challenges and opportunities.

The workshop will include:

• Presentations on the evidence for health benefits of green spaces in a changing world
• Expert panel discussion on key issues
• Round-table discussions on ecohealth barriers, opportunities and actions

Please contact Tom Bowers, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation at

Forests Ontario Annual Conference


The 2015 Forests Ontario Conference will be taking place on Friday, February 20th at the Nottawasaga Inn, Alliston. Upwards of 300 landowners, forestry professionals, educators and those interested in the health of our forests will be exploring the theme of “One Forest”.

Our forest is one forest. The divides between urban, peri-urban, rural and remote forests are merely boundaries put in place by people. Living things do not know these boundaries, and the benefits we receive go beyond the trees that only surround us. How can we work closer together to ensure the health and prosperity of all of Ontario’s forests? It begins with seeing the forest as continuous, and that every tree in any forest has value. We will explore the interconnectedness of our landscapes and the importance of seeing Ontario’s forests as one continuous forest supporting diverse communities across the province. Topics include Heritage Trees, species migration, climate change and managing your woodlot, and UNESCO Biosphere Reserves.

Registration: Members $85
Non- Members $110
Students $35

Ontario Biodiversity Summit

This summit will connect people from a range of sectors from across Ontario – and around the world – to talk about, celebrate, and take action to protect biodiversity. Objectives include:

* Providing a forum to educate, energize, and engage stakeholders;

* Introducing a non-traditional audience to the importance of biodiversity and their role in implementing Ontario’s Biodiversity Strategy, 2011;

* Celebrating achievements, reflect on the state of Ontario’s biodiversity, and prioritize actions to 2020 to advance Ontario’s biodiversity conservation targets.

The summit will feature sessions on the topic of ecosystem services, insofar as information and the consideration of ecosystem services help to fulfill the objectives of Ontario’s biodiversity strategy. This strategy includes reducing threats to biodiversity, enhance resilience of biodiversity, and improving knowledge about biodiversity.

The State of Ontario’s Biodiversity 2015 will be formally released at the start of the summit.

A “youth summit” will take place in parallel at another venue and join the plenary sessions by a live video feed.

Discover the Don Speaker Series: Toronto’s Trees - Beyond the Ice Storm

The Don Watershed Regeneration Council and Toronto and Region Conservation is launching a 2-hour speaker series event on October 23, 2014 from 7 to 9 pm at the Auditorium of the North York Central Library (5120 Yonge Street) featuring the 4 special presentations:

1) Karen Clarke-Whistler, TD Chief Environment Officer on “The Economic Value of Toronto’s Trees”
2) Dr. Dawn Bazely, York University Professor, Department of Biology on “The Biological Threats to Toronto’s Trees”
3) Kim Statham, City of Toronto’s Program Standards & Development Officer on “Toronto’s Urban Forest: Challenges and Opportunities”
4) Daniel Larocque and Mike Jones representing the Leslieville-Riverdale Tree Project on “Community Action to Protect Toronto’s Trees”

Gabriella Kalapos, the Executive Director at Clean Air Partnership, will be moderating the event.

Event is free but advanced registration is required!

If you are interested in attending, please register online at:

Latornell Conservation Symposium

Many ONES members will be attending and presenting at the 2014 Latornell Conservation Symposium themed “Growth & Transformation” from November 18 to November 20 in Alliston Ontario at the Nottawasaga Inn.

ONES worked with the Latornell Program Committee to develop the stream of “Environment, Economy and Health” which has sessions on all days:

DAY 1: Tuesday, November 18, 2014

11 am – 12:30 pm, Room 6: Our Well-being Is in Our Nature

Green Infrastructure and Health (Steven Peck, Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition)

Exploring the Relationship between Urban Natural Landscapes and Emotional and Mental Well-Being (Emily Grant, University of Waterloo)

Human Well-Being, Ecosystem Services and Watershed Management in the Credit River Watershed (Tatiana Koveshnikova, Credit Valley Conservation)

2 – 3:30 pm, Room 6: Urban Green – Critical for Community Health

Climate Change and Health Vulnerability Assessment Guidelines for Ontario (Vidya Anderson, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care)

Health and Well-Being Benefits of Urban Green Space (Tara Zupancic, Habitus Research)

Prioritizing Plantable Areas to Grow Peel Region’s Urban Forest (Janet Wong, Region of Peel)

Communicating the Benefits of York Region’s Urban Forest (Barb Davies, York Region & Lionel Normand, Toronto and Region Conservation)

4 – 5:30 pm, Room 6: EcoHealth Strategies

Ecosystem Approaches to Health (Karen Morrison, International Association for Ecology and Health & York University)

Ontario EcoHealth Collaborative (Helen Doyle, York Region Public Health & Mike Puddister, Credit Valley Conservation)

Being in Nature – A Prescription for Better Health (Ashoo Anand, Credit Valley Conservation)

DAY 2: Wednesday, November 19, 2014

8:30 – 10:30 am, Room 6: Does Our Economy Have a Green Future?

Post-Growth Economics for Ontario (Eric Miller, Consulting Economist)

Building Canada’s Clean Economy (Keith Brooks, Environmental Defence)

Recognizing and Fostering the Provision of Ecosystem Services by Private Landowners – Views from the Land (Elizabeth Holmes, University of Guelph)

10:30 am – 12 pm, Room 5: Green Opportunities in the Marketplace

Timber Stalks or Gold Stocks, Can You Make Your Forest Pay? (Chris Gynan, Silv-Econ)

Green Opportunities in the Marketplace (Robert Orland, Orland Conservation & Erik Lees, LEES + Associates Landscape Architects)

Bird-Friendly Certified Hay Program (Mark Eastman, Credit Valley Conservation)

2 – 5 pm, Room 4: Agroecology – An Ecosystem Approach to Farm Production (Panel)

Microbially Active Soils and Nutrient Cycling (Jeri Parrent, Ecologist)

Agroecological Practices on an Organic Farm (Alvaro Venturelli, Plan B Organics Farm)

Food Systems That Foster Agroecology (Kristine Hammel, Grey Bruce Centre for Agroecology)

Agroecological Principles at Multiple Scales and Disciplines: A Knowledge Perspective (Thorsten Arnold, Grey Bruce Centre for Agroecology)

DAY 3: Thursday, November 20, 2014

8:30 am – 10 pm, Room 10A: Natural Capital and Ecosystem Service Assessments in Ontario

Natural Capital Assessment: The Practitioner’s Dilemma – Why Hasn’t NCA Caught on in Ontario? (Vince Deschamps and Natalie Leava, Stantec Consulting Ltd.)

Ontario’s Experience Valuing Nature (Andreas Link, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

Ontario Wetland Carbon Sequestration (Eric Enanga, Western University)

10:30 am – 12 pm, Room 6: Modelling for Ecosystem Services

Ecosystem Modeling for Protected Areas with the ARIES Project (Will Wistowsky, Ministry of Natural Resources)

Using Agent-Based Modeling to Understand Resilience in a Southern Ontario Agroecosystem in the Context of Climate Change and Alternative Agricultural Regimes (Martin Bunch, York University)

Modelling Ecosystem Services in Ontario and Canada (Wanhong Yang, University of Guelph)

2:15 – 4:30 pm, Room 18: Biodiversity Offsetting in Ontario (Panel)

Moderator: Eric Miller, Consulting Economist

Creating a Framework for Biodiversity Offsetting in Ontario (Sarah Hedges, Ontario Nature)

Experience with Habitat Offset Projects to Date (Ron Reid, The Couchiching Conservancy)

Offsetting under the Endangered Species Act (Carl Bickerdike, South Nation Conservation)

Regulators Perspective (Ian Crawford, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

Corporate Perspective (Brian McCormick, Hydro One)

Grey to Green

Building on the success of Grey to Green: A Conference on the Economics of Green Infrastructure in 2013, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is now planning Grey to Green for 2014. This two-day conference focuses on the health benefits of green infrastructure – for our economy, our ecosystem and our community. Grey to Green will bring together leading edge thinkers and doers across a diverse range of fields which reveal the intersection of health and green infrastructure protection and development.

Designers, engineers, policy makers, developers, utility managers, conservationists, healthcare professionals, horticulturalists, contractors, urban farmers, academics, all share important opportunities to advance the social, economic and ecosystem health of our communities by utilizing living green infrastructure such as urban forests, green roofs and walls, bioswales, rain gardens, meadowlands, and wetlands. Grey to Green will bring to light many of the important scientific, design, economic and policy advancements in the green infrastructure field.

Important advancements have occurred recently in our scientific understanding of the important role that these technologies play, particularly in urban regions, regarding the maintenance of our physical and mental health. With more and more people living in high rise developments, the integration of green infrastructure is becoming increasingly important.

The policy environment with respect to green infrastructure is also rapidly changing, with many jurisdictions in the United States in particular recognizing the multiple benefits of green infrastructure with incentives, regulations and investment. Private sector developers and designers are realizing that the design and development of buildings and sites can have a dramatic impact on the bottom line. Utility managers are looking increasingly to green infrastructure to conserve energy and manage stormwater to prevent flooding and combined sewer overflow events.

Muskoka Environment Summit

The conference theme is Environment vs Economy: Resolving the Dichotomy.

Leading experts from across North America will be brought together to explore the relationship between the environment and economy and the perceived dichotomy between having a healthy environment and having a thriving economy. Experts include:

Robert Sandford, Director of the Western Watersheds Research Collaborative, is a leading thinker on the impact of climate change on freshwater resources.

Elena Bennett, from McGill University, studies the connection between ecosystem services and human well-being.

Terre Satterfield is an anthropologist at UBC whose work focuses on culture and justice as they influence environmental values.

Daniel Simberloff, from the University of Tennessee, is a leading terrestrial ecologist and expert on the biology of invasive species.

Peter Victor, from York University, is an economist who works on environmental issues.

These presenters will draw on their experiences in the sciences and the arts, bringing together perspectives from economics, anthropology, ecology and public policy arenas. Can we balance the conservation of nature with our need to have a strong economy so that we may live healthy and prosperous lives? Do we need to accept a weak economy so that we may have environmental sustainability? Can we afford to fight climate change? Or can we afford not to fight it?

Renowned Canadian wildlife artist, naturalist and conservationist, Robert Bateman, will be the keynote speaker on the evening of the first day. He is a passionate advocate for environmental education and his art speaks eloquently about the value of nature.

The two-day summit will feature presentations by each of the experts and will culminate in a panel discussion hosted by CBC’s Paul Kennedy (with subsequent broadcast on his award-winning program Ideas). At a time when the world is changing rapidly and pressing global environmental and economic challenges abound, an in-depth exploration of the ways in which environment and economics might interact is both timely and important.

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