Minister Wilkinson Announces Over 50 New Projects Toward 2 Billion Trees
From: Natural Resources Canada
December 12, 2022
As climate change exacerbates disasters like wildfires, flooding, temperature spikes and droughts, Canada and nations around the world are seeing natural environments lose biodiversity at a rapid pace. That is why Canada has welcomed the world to Montreal for the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) to bring about international cooperation on nature protection, including the protection and restoration of forests.
Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, announced over 50 new agreements under the 2 Billion Trees program, representing more than $37 million in funding. These agreements are expected to plant more than 12.5 million new trees across the country.
The 54 projects announced today will benefit Canadians from coast to coast to coast. For example:
- the Fundy Biosphere Initiative in New Brunswick is planting 45,000 trees to help protect a municipal drinking watershed;
- Yukon First Nations Wildfire is planting 1,000 trees and employing local youth while also developing a strategic tree-planting plan; and
- the McLeod Lake Indian Band of McLeod Lake, British Columbia, is planting over 1.3 million trees to help reforest its reserve forest that was destroyed by a spruce beetle infestation.
The 2 Billion Trees program’s first year was a success, with partners planting approximately 29 million trees at over 500 sites across Canada. These trees will restore nature, enhance biodiversity, create forest ecosystems on fire-damaged land, increase carbon capture, and create parks and greenspaces in and around our cities. Nearly one in every five projects was Indigenous-led. These trees will clean the air we breathe, the water we drink and help cool our urban centres.
And these benefits will be more widely felt as we enter into long-term agreements with provinces and territories and launch the third call for proposals. But planting these trees is no small feat. That’s why the program was designed to plant more trees each year and is on track to plant two billion trees.
“Protecting and restoring Canada’s forests is a vital undertaking to combat climate change, improve air quality, protect biodiversity and create sustainable jobs. Today I announced over 50 projects from 11 provinces and territories that will plant over 12.5 million trees. These projects are led by a diverse collection of Indigenous communities, cities and towns, youth groups, community associations and nurseries. Congratulations to all of those involved in this vital work to fight climate change and restore nature.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Natural Resources
“The 2 Billion Trees program goes beyond planting trees. It also contributes to improving the health of ecosystems through nature-based solutions and restoration of degraded sites. Thanks to the program, millions of trees will be planted for the climate and to improve the health of soils and waterways.”
Co-founder and President of Ramo
“Yukon First Nations Wildfire is proud to participate in Natural Resources Canada’s 2 Billion Trees Program as a program partner. YFNW is currently working with Yukon First Nations and stakeholders to assess the feasibility of multi-year tree planting operations that would provide opportunity for youth from across the territory to engage in the silviculture industry. In the spring of 2023, YFNW will engage in seed collection, the scouting of potential planting sites and a test plant in central Yukon. YFNW is excited to be part of the climate change solution to help Canada reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to continue working closely with local and national partners of the same mindset.”
Chair of Yukon First Nations Wildfire
- The agreements also include capacity-building projects signed to date, plus ones to be signed before the end of this year and the next, that help tackle climate change, preserve biodiversity, and help Canada reach its long-term goal of achieving net-zero emissions by the year 2050.
- The 2 Billion Trees program is one of the many measures the Government of Canada is taking to restore nature as it welcomes nearly 196 countries to Montreal for COP15 from 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.
Natural Resources Canada
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources
Director of Business and Innovation
Yukon First Nations Wildfire