To date, provincial policy in the area of land use planning has not resulted in an overarching vision of Greenlands protection for south-central Ontario. Protection is fragmented among many jurisdictions (upper- and lower-tier municipalities, conservation authorities, the province) and similar Greenlands may be treated differently in each one. Designations have been created at different times, when different ideas prevailed about Greenlands - some designations date back to the 1970s and 1980s. Although the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and Niagara Escarpment Plans include measures to protect large areas that cross jurisdictions, there is no vision in place for the region as a whole.
The enactment of the Greenbelt Protection Act is expected to result in the identification of a Greenlands system across the Golden Horseshoe region of the province that may well go beyond what is already "fully protected." However, at the time of writing (summer 2004), this initiative is still in the early stages of "visioning" and public consultation and its outcome is not known.
"The Big Picture Project" is an attempt to identify a large, connected natural heritage system across southern and central Ontario made up of core and other significant natural areas, linked by a network of habitat corridors. "The Big Picture Project" has no formal status as a government-led project (despite participation by the Ministry of Natural Resources in partnership with non-government organizations such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Federation of Ontario Naturalists) and does not represent the province's official position as to what a comprehensive Greenlands system for this area could look like.