Conserving and restoring nature in Ontario is an important part of Canada’s plan to fight climate change. Nature-based solutions can achieve multiple benefits by preserving ecosystems, protecting freshwater, supporting nature recovery, and simultaneously storing carbon. The Government of Canada continues to invest in conserving and protecting nature from coast to coast, helping us to meet our 2030 Paris Agreement emissions reduction targets and our Kunming-Montreal Agreement targets for nature.
Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced over $11.7 million in funding to support the Ontario Land Trust Alliance with nature-based solutions projects. This is part of the $1.4 billion that Canada has invested in the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund. This investment will help conserve ecosystems that are rich in biodiversity and carbon by stopping the conversion or degradation of wetlands, grasslands, forests, and former cropland. The projects will protect up to 6000 hectares and restore another 300 hectares of habitat that supports 60 species at risk, including the Kirtland’s Warbler. This project will also help Canada meet its target to reduce 5 to 7 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually by 2030 using nature-based solutions.
Minister Guilbeault also announced over $850,000 to support several projects with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) focused on Great Lakes restoration to improve freshwater quality and habitat in the region. For example, one project, funded through the Great Lakes Protection Initiative, will protect and restore aquatic habitat in the Toronto and Region Area of Concern. Another project, funded by the EcoAction Community Funding Program, will improve water quality and quantity, and ecosystem health in four urban neighbourhoods.
By working together with the provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples, and the private and non-profit sectors to protect nature, the Government of Canada and its partners are making progress on halting and reversing biodiversity loss. Overall, these investments will contribute to Canada’s commitments to conserve 25 percent of land, oceans and freshwater in Canada by 2025 and 30 percent of each by 2030, and help Canada meet its 2030 and 2050 climate change objectives.