Ontario Climate Change Action Plan Reaffirms Importance of Forests and Forest Management
Toronto, ON, June 8, 2016 – As Forests Ontario and our partners continue to work toward healthy, abundant, and sustainably managed forests across Ontario, we are pleased that with today’s official release of the Climate Change Action Plan, the government of Ontario has reaffirmed the vital role of forests and forest management in addressing the challenge of climate change.
The Climate Change Action Plan includes acknowledgement of the 50 Million Tree Program with a commitment from the government “…to continue to support tree planting programs, including its commitment to plant 50 million trees across the province by 2025.” With over 20 million trees planted to date through this program, the 50 Million Tree Program has already established a legacy of clean air and water, enhanced biodiversity, and a more resilient ecosystem.
“Enhanced forest cover is essential to a comprehensive climate change strategy, a fact acknowledged by world leaders at COP21. Forests Ontario is therefore grateful to have the support of the government of Ontario in continuing to deliver our commitment to growing tomorrow’s forests,” notes Forests Ontario CEO Rob Keen.
In addition to our work in planting healthy forests, Forests Ontario seeks to engage the public in understanding the concept of sustainable forest management and its role in supporting economic growth as well as the long-term health of our natural ecosystems.
As such, we are pleased to see inclusion in the Climate Change Action Plan of managing forests for multiple values, including the development of forest products, as a priority. The Ontario Climate Change Strategy directly states, “[O]ngoing sustainable forest management helps our forests’ continuing and long-term contribution to climate change mitigation by absorbing and storing carbon dioxide.”
Through our ongoing campaign “It Takes a Forest,” Forests Ontario and our partners from various fields have highlighted the ways in which harvesting for the development of wood products can be balanced with important ecosystem services. Indeed, the government has also acknowledged wood as an eco-friendly building material capable of storing carbon. Thanks to the rigorous standards and world-renowned practices of Ontario’s forestry sector, economic growth and the integrity of our natural ecosystems are not mutually exclusive.
From our managed Crown Forests to the private forests planted through the 50 Million Tree Program to our urban parks and trees, Ontario’s diverse forests all have the potential to support greater health and prosperity for our communities.. Forests Ontario thus looks forward to continuing our work alongside the government in delivering the 50 Million Tree Program as well as partners in the forestry sector to grow Ontario’s role as a leader in addressing climate change through sustainable and effective forest management.
Forests Ontario is the voice for our forests. Working to promote a future of healthy forests sustaining healthy people, Forests Ontario is committed to the re-greening of Ontario through tree planting efforts on rural lands and in urban areas, as well as the renewal and stewardship of Ontario’s forests through restoration, education and awareness. Visit www.forestsontario.ca or follow us @Forests_Ontario.
For more information or to schedule an interview, contact:
Communications Manager, Forests Ontario
416.646.1193 ext. 257