Canada is dedicated to helping restore and expand Canada’s forests from coast to coast. Trees are essential to our lives; they capture carbon, improve air quality and support wildlife – they are allies in our fight against climate change.
That’s why today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, alongside Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport, and Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph, announced a $12.7-million contribution to Forests Ontario to plant 7.2 million trees over a span of three years through the 2 Billion Trees program, aimed at partnering with governments and organizations to plant two billion trees over 10 years.
As part of the 2 Billion Trees program, this project by Forests Ontario will increase forest cover and improve forest conditions. These trees will provide a nature-based climate solution by sequestering significant amounts of carbon, contribute to habitat restoration, including species and habitats at risk, and provide the many social, cultural, environmental and economic benefits that trees and forests offer.
Forests Ontario will source and collect native tree seed, grow millions of native trees with nursery partners, work with planting partners and landowners to plant native seed-sourced trees in the right places, and monitor and assess tree survival over the following years. Forests Ontario has developed strong relationships with its network of partners to prepare for future planting projects, outreach and engagement, training and capacity building for 2023 and beyond.
Ontario is known for its forests, from the black spruce standing tall and proud in the Boreal forest, to the sugar maples brightening southern Ontario, to the distinctive long, soft needles of the white pine. With our environment at the forefront of afforestation and restoration efforts, this project helps keep us on track to our two billion trees goal and toward a greener, more sustainable future for Canadians.
This will help generate clean jobs across the country, including in Indigenous communities. The efforts to tackle climate change and protect our biodiversity in Canada would not be possible without the significant collaboration of organizations working to revitalize and care for our environment.
This is one of the many measures the Government of Canada is taking to protect nature as it invites some 196 countries to Montreal for the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, December 7-19, 2022. COP15 presents an opportunity for Canada to show its leadership in taking actions to conserve and restore nature and halt biodiversity loss around the world.