Forests Ontario / Forest Recovery Canada to plant over 31 million trees as part of Canada’s 2 Billion Trees program

Pictured (left to right): The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources; Member of Parliament Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and to the Minister of Sport and Physical Activity; and Jess Kaknevicius, Chief Executive Officer, Forests Ontario. Photo: Natural Resources Canada

Barrie, ON – In an effort to minimize the devastating effects of climate change, encourage biodiversity, enhance wildlife habitat, and support green job creation, Forests Ontario / Forest Recovery Canada has signed an agreement with Natural Resources Canada’s 2 Billion Trees (2BT) program to plant 31 million trees across the country by March 31, 2031.

Jess Kaknevicius, CEO of Forests Ontario, and the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, today announced a joint commitment of over $123 million that will see 31 million trees planted across the country. The Government of Canada will cover 50 percent of project costs through the 2BT program and Forests Ontario will work with corporate partners and donors across the country to contribute to the balance of project costs.

“This is a generational opportunity for organizations and individuals across the country to show their environmental leadership,” Kaknevicius says. “We have the support of the Government of Canada and now we need corporate partners and donors to stand with our planting partners, conservation authorities, Indigenous community partners, municipalities, and community groups and play a vital role in the fight against biodiversity loss and climate change.”

The success of a planting project this size is possible thanks to Forests Ontario’s comprehensive network of experts who collect high-quality seed, grow the seedlings with trusted nurseries, work with local planting partners, and manage survival assessments to improve climate resilience and biodiversity in our natural environments – goals that are in direct alignment with UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“Today’s announcement represents a major step toward our goal of planting two billion trees to deliver cleaner air, enhance biodiversity, and advance climate action across Canada,” Minister Wilkinson says.  “Forests Ontario’s efforts to plant more than 31 million trees across the country will benefit communities and create good jobs. Collaborative partnerships like the one between Canada and Forests Ontario are producing important results for Canadians and ensuring that the right tree is planted in the right place for the right reasons.”

This announcement builds on the original 2BT program agreement between the Government of Canada and Forests Ontario from November 2022. Over the past 20 years, Forests Ontario has been responsible for planting more than 43 million trees on over 8,000 project sites across Canada – creating approximately 20,500 hectares of new forests.

“Nature is our greatest ally in fighting climate change. Planting more trees is a nature-based climate solution that helps reduce the risk of flooding and wildfires, cleans our air and water, supports biodiversity and sequesters carbon emissions,” the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, says. “It’s also one of our best tools to build thriving, livable cities in Ontario and across Canada.”

SOURCE Forests Ontario & Forest Recovery Canada

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