Robert Baldwin

Robert Baldwin

Robert Baldwin, Canada

Robert (Rob) Baldwin is the General Manager, Planning and Development at the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority and has been with them for 16 years. He is responsible for the delivery of a proactive program to ensure a sustainable Lake Simcoe basin with a client focused approach. Rob has focused on applying innovative approaches related to watershed management in several areas across North America.

Presentation Title: Creating a public-private relationship, to achieve maximum benefits in the Lake Simcoe watershed.

Intense growth and development pressure is a common fact of life in many areas across the world. This pressure is often seen as a challenge where the traditional approval agency versus developer approach results most often in conflict. This current approach maintains the status quo and does little to assist in achieving climate change resiliency goals, sustainable water management and much more. Simply put, this adversarial approach results in minimal outcomes and increased community conflict.  The Lake Simcoe watershed, on the doorstep of Toronto, Canada, has been one of the most significant growth areas in Canada and will continue to do so for the next few decades. The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) is an environmental agency charged with protecting and restoring the health of Lake Simcoe and acts as an environmental extension of municipal government. Over the past five years the LSRCA has adopted an approach to change the development culture from one of “fighting for minimums” to one of “partnering for maximums”.  Culture change is typically difficult and certainly slow but is best accomplished with willing and innovative groups or partners. The LSRCA has been able to change the development culture with a willing developer with large scale developments in the Lake Simcoe watershed. Geranium Corporation is a significant developer within this region of Canada who also realized the traditional approach did not work. Together, the LSRCA and Geranium, changed the relationship to focus on mutual outcomes that surpass all traditional approaches. The presentation will outline the key mechanisms and approaches used to change the culture and achieve maximum social, community and environmental benefits that result by creating a public-private relationship.

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