Janet has more than 25 years’ experience as an environmentalist. She has been the Executive Director of CPAWS Wildlands League since 2003. In 2017, Janet was appointed co-chair of the National Advisory Panel (NAP) with a mandate to provide recommendations on how Canada can meet the Aichi Target 11, protecting 17% terrestrial lands and inland waters in Canada by 2020.
Janet has led the Wildlands League team in the achievement of substantial legislative reforms in Ontario and federally, notably, for Ontario a new Provincial Protected Areas and Conservation Reserves Act (2007); Mining Act (2009) Reform; Far North Act (2010); and; federally, amendments to the Rouge National Urban Park Act (2017)
Janet is an expert negotiator, strategist and communicator with considerable policy reform experience. Janet believes the two greatest environmental challenges of our time are climate change and biodiversity loss. The solutions to both include protecting nature and addressing our land use footprint.
Janet has recently presented at the Federal Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development, on ‘Protected Areas and Conservation Objectives’ and ‘Rouge National Urban Park: Becoming a Park’; the University of Toronto, Forestry Studies, on ‘Counting Carbon’; the Bora Laskin Law School in Thunder Bay, on the ‘The Ring of Fire’, and; The United Nations Forum on Forestry, Rome, Italy, ‘The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement Collaboration,’ among many others.
Janet leads a dynamic team at CPAWS Wildlands League dedicated to wilderness protection and ecosystem certainty for our large landscapes.
Follow Janet on Twitter: @sumnerwild.
Anna Baggio is senior staff member and Director, Conservation Planning for Wildlands League. She has been with Wildlands for 18 years working with Indigenous leaders, governments, citizens, industry and communities to protect wilderness and come up with solutions for nature and communities. Anna is a graduate of York University’s Master in Environmental Studies Program and she also holds a Hon. B.Sc. in Biology from McMaster University. Her passion for conservation was sparked at a national park in Georgian Bay where she studied spotted turtles and reptiles. For her Master’s research, she worked with communities outside two small protected areas in Southern Costa Rica, examining land use and ecologically sustainable practices in agriculture.
Anna played a lead role in delivering a ground-breaking 3 million ha caribou action plan in the Abitibi River Forest in northeastern Ontario that protects caribou habitat and provides for local jobs. This plan also known as the Cochrane Plan was re-affirmed by all parties in 2018. Anna also played a lead role in helping the community of Kitchenumaykoosib Inninuwug in northern Ontario (from 2005-2011) fight unwanted mineral exploration on their lands. This ultimately led to the safeguarding of over 2.6 million ha of globally significant boreal forests and wetlands from mining in 2012. She has been instrumental in shaping new laws such as the Far North Act 2010, Mining Act 2009, and An Act to amend the Rouge National Urban Park Act, the Parks Canada Agency Act and the Canada National Parks Act, 2016. In 2019, she helped complete the new Rouge National Urban Park.
Anna has well established relations with Indigenous leaders, seeks connections between science and Indigenous knowledge and promotes innovative policy solutions. Anna is currently working on protecting endangered species, northern watersheds such as the North French River, caribou conservation, national marine conservation areas, De Beers Victor diamond mine and helping Ontario and Canada meet its international commitments to protect 17% of its lands and inland waters by 2020.
You can follow Anna on twitter: @annabwild.
Trevor Hesselink has been immersed in the environmental policy field since 1992 both as an independent consultant to a wide range of organizations, and as a senior policy advisor to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.
Through his undergraduate studies in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Waterloo and his Masters’ studies in Urban Design at the University of Toronto, he has cultivated an enduring passion for sustainability dynamics and applied semiotics. His creative facilitation and communication skills have contributed to many policy and planning initiatives in Ontario from community based watershed management to safe drinking water.
Since joining the Wildlands League, Trevor has enjoyed tackling a brand new set of exciting challenges for his creativity and curiosity, fuelled by a personal passion for an enduring wilderness heritage that Canadians can be proud of.
Born and raised in the Arnprior area of the Ottawa Valley, Dave Pearce is a graduate of the Master of Forest Conservation program at the University of Toronto (2001) and an alumnus of the Biology program at Trent University.
He has undertaken a variety of forestry field research and writing experiences with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources in Central Ontario, wildlife field research in Algonquin Park with the University of Toronto, relief work in Kenya and Sudan, and natural history education. Interest in improving forest management has led to training as a tree marker, Managed Forest Plan Approver status, FSC auditor training and experience in hands-on forest management with a small sustainable woodlot effort in Quebec.
He enjoys many outdoor pursuits and time with Rachel, daughters Clara and Isla and extended family.
Jennifer Berney worked tirelessly in the role of Executive Assistant for Wildlands League from 2007-2018, offering an array of administrative, communications and event management experience. After recovering from serious health issues in 2018, Jennifer returned to work with Wildlands League in May 2019, taking on fundraising and board engagement initiatives. Jennifer looks forward to leveraging her considerable strengths and experience in this new role.
Jennifer has always had a great love for the peace and tranquility of the outdoors, stemming from her roots growing up in rural South Central Ontario and from many memorable camping trips with her mom and friends as a teen. She is grateful for the opportunity to pass on this love to the next generation, through outdoor adventures with her daughter and through Learn to Paddle at Paddle the Rouge.
When she isn’t at her post, you can find Jennifer singing with Toronto super group Choir! Choir! Choir!, playing ukulele, or squirreled away writing a screenplay. Jennifer looks forward to many more years of positive contributions within this amazing Wild-family.
Paulette joined Wildlands League in May 2016 bringing organizational, administrative and financial skills from her banking days. She enjoys singing baritone in Barbershop quartet but her passion is travelling in the developing world. Her favourite two continents are Asia and Africa which allows her to camel trek and mix with the locals. In 2004 she took a short leave of absence from her employment and volunteered her time building houses in Sri Lanka after the devastating Tsunami destroyed part of Asia. She also helped at an orphanage for displaced young girls as a result of the Tsunami. She had raised $10,000 from family and friends and took this cash in her money belt and handed it directly to those people who really needed it. She bought several fishing boats to replace the one’s lost at sea thus helping the grieving families build a new life. 70% of the fishermen were lost that day and many families were shattered. She also gave $1500 directly to a man who had lost his wife and 13 out of 14 children, this would pay for a new home for his only surviving daughter and himself. She is looking forward to learning a great deal about the conservation of nature in Canada and hopes to continue to be involved with humanitarian efforts.
Niamh Wall returns to Wildlands League to help out as Executive Assistant. Niamh has been an environmentalist for as long as she can remember, and is passionate about finding conservation solutions that will benefit both people and our surrounding ecosystems. Niamh is a graduate of the University of Guelph’s Environmental Management program as well as the Master of Forest Conservation program at the University of Toronto. Her graduate work took her to Nepal where she worked with a community in the Middle Hills to create a management plan that would protect natural forests from local pressures.
Niamh’s graduate work also saw her collaborate with Canadian charity Forests without Borders in their program to teach primary students about tree nurseries. Niamh’s long term goal is to get back into doing conservation work in Canada.
Eugenia joined Wildlands League in 2018 as Outreach Manager. Prior to her work here, she was a community educator on animal welfare, and holds a Master of Arts degree in Geography from the University of Guelph and a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Animal Biology from the University of British Columbia.
Growing up in the busy city of Vancouver BC, Eugenia has always had a fascination with the outdoors and enjoys hiking with her dog and traveling. Her previous work included improving the welfare of stray dogs in Brazil, and investigating perceptions of gender dynamics in small-scale fisheries and conservation areas in Cambodia. She is an avid home cook and spends most of her weekends tackling new food recipe challenges. At Wildlands League, Eugenia is looking forward to learning more about Canada’s natural ecosystems and creating outreach activities that share and strengthen community appreciation for nature.
Wildlands League’s Board of Directors can be found here.