By: The Working Forest Staff
OTTAWA, ON, CNW – Planting two billion trees across the country will help Canada’s efforts to tackle the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. Trees capture and store carbon from the atmosphere, improve air and water quality, support biodiversity and create and support thousands of good jobs.
That is why Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, has announced Canada is launching the next call for proposals toward our commitment to plant two billion trees. Building on the Early Start Projects Expression of Interest announced earlier this year, this call for proposals will result in long-term agreements with eligible partners from across the country, including municipalities, non-profit organizations, and Indigenous communities and organizations, and build a strong foundation for the ramp-up of tree planting efforts.
Specifically, it will support two different types of projects: tree planting projects and capacity building projects. Together, these will help Canada realize its 10-year target.
- The Tree Planting Fund will be divided into three streams: the Mass Planting Stream (minimum of 500,000 trees per year), the Small-scale Planting Stream (minimum of 50,000 trees per year), and the Urban and Suburban Planting Stream (minimum of 10,000 trees per year). All three streams are open to Indigenous communities and organizations, as well as for-profit and non-profit organizations.
- The Capacity Building Stream seeks to support organizations by improving their capacity to make sound decisions in the planting and management of trees and forests. Municipalities, local governments, and their agencies, non-profit organizations, and Indigenous communities and organizations are all eligible to participate.
Growing seedlings to plant trees takes time. By signing long-term agreements with partners from across the country, this call for proposals will help create demand for new trees and will spur sustainable investments by nurseries in their infrastructure to meet the growing demand, providing partners with a reliable supply of trees to meet our planting goals. From here, the number of trees planted will gradually increase from one year to the next as the number of available trees grows.
Minister Wilkinson also provided Canadians with an update on the 2 Billion Trees program, alongside this call for proposals. In 2021, the 2 Billion Trees program is on track to plant 30 million trees, through over 500 projects across the country. Today’s call for proposals builds on that early momentum.
The 2 Billion Trees program is a key component of Canada’s efforts to use nature-based solutions to fight climate change, restore nature and protect biodiversity. The trees planted as a result of this program will represent a 40 percent increase in the number of trees planted in Canada, the equivalent of 1.1 million hectares, an area twice the size of Prince Edward Island. Canada’s 2 Billion Trees program will create up to 4,300 jobs across the country while making a significant contribution toward our emissions reductions targets and ensuring a safe, sustainable environment for future generations.
“Planting trees is an important part of our plan to fight climate change, protect biodiversity and create good jobs. Launching this Call for Proposals builds on our progress of planting 30 million trees this year and sets us on the pathway to achieve our ambitious goal of planting two billion trees by 2030.”
Minister of Natural Resources
“Trees are a critical part of our plan to combat climate change and curb biodiversity loss. Canada’s 2 Billion Trees program will help Canada transition to a net-zero economy, protect and conserve our ecosystems, secure urban resilience to extreme weather events, improve public health and build a nature-positive future.”
Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“Canadian farmers are already leaders in the adoption of sustainable practices and technologies. But with climate change, we must double down on our efforts to improve our environment sustainability and reduce our greenhouse gases in the agriculture sector. Our government’s national tree planting program will engage farms groups across the country and help farmers manage soil erosion, improve water management, provide habitat for pollinators and other wildlife, and shelter for livestock.”
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
- The 2 Billion Trees program is part of Canada’s Natural Climate Solutions Fund, which embraces the power of nature to fight climate change. In the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, the government committed up to $3.16 billion over 10 years to deliver on this commitment.
- The launch of the 2 Billion Trees program in early 2021 signaled to nurseries across Canada that their capacity would need to increase by 40 percent in order to meet this program’s target.
- Tree planting on a large scale and in a sustainable way requires careful planning. The process of planting a tree takes several years and includes steps like ordering seeds, increasing nursery capacity and growing seedlings until they are large enough to be planted in the ground.
- Tree selection is based on climate change and environmental considerations, while prioritizing planting native trees. Specific tree planting locations will depend on the funding proposals put forward by partners.
- The 2 Billion Trees program is also beginning negotiations with provinces and territories on their long-term projects, and we hope to sign initial agreements by the spring of 2022.
- The government has also established an advisory committee of experts on nature-based climate solutions to advise on program delivery to maximize emission reductions and deliver on key biodiversity and human well-being co-benefits to improve the quality of life for Canadians.
- The 2 Billion Trees program is also co-developing a governance framework for Indigenous-led projects. This will provide opportunities for Indigenous perspectives to shape and inform how these projects will be managed and delivered in a way that reflects Indigenous priorities, values and the long history of Indigenous land stewardship.
Follow us on Twitter: @NRCan (http://twitter.com/nrcan)