OTTAWA, ON, Nov. 23, 2022 – 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.
“Today’s announcement in Ontario represents a major step toward our goal of planting two billion trees to deliver cleaner air, enhanced biodiversity and climate action across Canada. Forests Ontario’s contribution to this effort includes the planting of over 7.2 million trees over three years to support biodiversity in communities across the country while creating sustainable jobs. Congratulations to all those involved.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Natural Resources
“Today’s announcement of 7.2 million new trees in Ontario represents a solid step toward our commitment to planting two billion trees across Canada. Our communities are healthier when we have an abundance of trees, which help reduce urban heat islands and while cleaning our air. As we look toward COP15, we are taking steps to ensure tree planting is a major part of our efforts to ensure the health of our communities and the biodiversity of our ecosystems.”
Adam van Koeverden
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport
Member of Parliament for Milton
“I was pleased to join Minister Wilkinson in announcing support for over 7.2 million new trees across our province. Ontarians will benefit from this program through sustainable jobs, healthier ecosystems, cleaner air and improvements to biodiversity. The 2 Billion Trees program uses nature-based solutions to fight climate change and permanently increase forest cover and support reforestation efforts taking place all across Canada.”
Member of Parliament for Guelph
“Forests Ontario and our partners have developed the expertise and infrastructure to grow and track tree planting from seed to successful forests and are the only Canadian charity with this capability. We don’t just plant trees, we grow forests, and it is exciting to be contributing to the 2 Billion Trees program as partners with the federal government. The 2 Billion Trees program will benefit communities across our country for generations to come.”
Chief Executive Officer of Forests Ontario and Registered Professional Forester