Canada is home to healthy and resilient forests that support the well-being of Canadians and our economy by creating thousands of green jobs while absorbing and storing vast amounts of carbon. Canada's path to net-zero emissions includes protected areas and sustainable forests.
That's why today, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Seamus O'Regan Jr., announced the next step in the Government of Canada's commitment to plant two billion trees: the Growing Canada's Forests Program.
Despite challenges posed by COVID-19, officials have continued engaging with provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous peoples, industry, and non-government stakeholders on ways to realize this tree planting commitment.
To that end, the government is launching two initiatives to seek information on organizations with immediate access to land or trees and those who are interested in collaborating on tree planting initiatives to help Canada realize its 10-year target:
The Future Participants Request for Information is an opportunity for organizations to share their vision and capacity to contribute to large-scale, single- or multi-year tree planting projects across Canada. The information received will help facilitate collaboration with various partners on future tree-planting projects. Response forms will be accepted until May 27, 2021.
The Early Start Projects Expression of Interest will help identify new, shovel-ready tree planting projects across Canada for the 2021 growing season. Eligible organizations will be required to demonstrate that they have access to trees and land as well as proven capacity and experience in delivering large, cost-shared tree planting projects that would result in at least 5,000 new, planted trees this year. This includes monitoring tree survival and reporting on project outcomes starting this spring. The health and safety of workers and communities involved in tree planting is an important consideration, and projects will be required to comply with COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Organizations have until March 25, 2021, to submit their Expression of Interest.
The 10 year commitment to plant two billion trees will help Canada combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to our goal of achieving net-zero by 2050. With the help of dedicated organizations across the country, we look forward to growing our healthy, vibrant and sustainably managed forests, leaving behind a legacy for future generations.
Quotes "Planting two billion trees is more than a plan for climate action. It's a plan for thousands of jobs. We're getting trees in the ground this spring." Seamus O'Regan, Jr. Canada's Minister of Natural Resources
"Planting trees is an important part of our plan to build a cleaner, healthier future for our children and grandchildren. Today, the Government of Canada is taking the next step towards our commitment to plant two billion trees by collaborating with organizations across the country. Together, we can fight climate change, support our iconic Canadian biodiversity and create good jobs." Jonathan Wilkinson Minister of Environment and Climate Change
"Canada's hardworking farmers have a solid track record of adopting new strategies to fight climate change. Adding trees to agricultural lands will help sequester more carbon, and improve soil health and water quality, which will benefit farmers. Our government's Two Billion Trees initiative is another meaningful step to help farmers and Canada meet or exceed our GHG targets by 2030." Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada's Minister of Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
As part of the Natural Climate Solutions Fund, planting two billion trees is a Government of Canada priority, as outlined in the Minister of Natural Resource's mandate letter and the 2020 Speech from the Throne. In the recent 2020 Fall Economic Statement, the government committed up to $3.16 billion over 10 years, starting in 2021–22, to deliver on this commitment.
The next milestone will be a Request for Proposals slated to launch later this year. Once programs are in place, planting could occur in a variety of areas including on public, private and federal lands as well as in urban settings across Canada.
Associated Links 2 Billion Trees Commitment Growing Canada's Forests Program Future Participants Early Start Projects Natural Climate Solutions Fund Fall Economic Statement 2020 2020 Speech from the Throne
For further information: Media Relations, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, 343-292-6100, NRCan.media.RNCan@canada.ca; Ian Cameron, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Natural Resources, 613-447-3488, Ian.Cameron@canada.ca