Conservation Ontario 2023 Annual Report

Message from the General Manager

The Future of Conservation is Collaborative

Are you an optimist or a pessimist by nature? With the many twists and turns of the past few years, I no longer consider myself on one side or the other. Instead, I think of myself as a “possibilist”. An individual who thinks of outcomes and opportunities as creative spaces for shared wins: so long as we avoid the limitations of small-picture thinking.

Without a doubt, Conservation Authorities (CAs) and Conservation Ontario (CO) have had challenges over the years; however, with excellent members that comprise our network and extended networks, we are positioning ourselves for future success.

Most of you know I take many things seriously, including drafting this message. In my short time at CO, I have been honoured to work and negotiate on your behalf. These negotiations required me to grow as a professional and to expand the limits of my thinking for our shared organizations. I am comfortable in rooms where it is necessary to build bridges to help people come together to find productive solutions.

Through discussions and debates, I’ve realized that collaboration is key to unlocking the full potential of conversation and conservation.

This annual report will tell stories of successful collaborations between CO and various stakeholders. These stories serve as a reminder that no single entity can tackle the challenges of conservation alone. Through partnerships, we leverage our collective strengths, share best practices, and amplify our impact.

The work being carried out by CO on behalf of the Conservation Authority (CA) network is  aligned with this vision. CO’s programs and initiatives support and highlight the transformative impact of collaboration by fostering partnerships between government agencies, Indigenous communities, businesses, agriculture, stewardship organizations, environmental organizations, and engaged citizens.

From watershed management to floodplain mapping, from climate change adaptation to biodiversity conservation, CO’s work exemplifies the strength that lies in unity. By combining diverse perspectives and expertise, we are driving positive change across the province.

This report highlights the importance of engaging and supporting the CA network. This inclusive approach ensures the sustainability of conservation efforts across watersheds.

Looking ahead, we are committed to deepening our collaboration with organizations across Ontario. We aim to expand our reach and influence in conservation by forging strategic alliances and nurturing partnerships. Together, we can drive change, advocate issues relevant to CAs, and create a future where the delicate balance between human progress and environmental preservation is maintained.

I want to thank Chair Chris White and our Board, Council, CAs, and partners for their support. Your dedication and commitment have enabled us to make significant strides over the past year. Let us embrace collaboration and possibility as the cornerstone of our efforts, knowing that together, we can build sustainable communities for all.

Angela Coleman
General Manager, Conservation Ontario

Download the Ontario's 2023 Annual Report (Single Page, Spreads)