Ontario climate plan affirms role of forest management
By Cindy Macdonald
Forests Ontario is pleased that with the release of its 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.”
More than 20 million trees have planted to date through this program, and Forests Ontario believes the 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.
The group is also pleased to see the concept of managing the forests for multiple values, including the development of forest products, as a priority in the action plan. Forests Ontario notes that 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.