Minister Wilkinson Launches the Two Billion Trees Planting Season

NEW WESTMINSTER, BC  , April 22, 2022  /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.

Today, as part of Earth Day celebrations, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, ceremonially launched Canada’s 2022 tree-planting season in Queen’s Park in New Westminster, B.C., by planting a tree as part of the 2 Billion Trees program (2BT).

Launched in 2021, 2BT is part of the Government of Canada’s broader approach to nature-based climate solutions. It contributes to Canada’s efforts to mitigate climate change while achieving key biodiversity and conservation goals, as well as supporting human well-being.

The program is on track to reach the two billion trees target over the next decade and is designed to plant incrementally more trees in every planting year than the year before. In its first year, the program signed agreements to support planting 30 million trees as projected, representing more than 50 species, at more than 500 sites across all provinces. Going forward, the Government of Canada is entering into longer-term agreements to secure planting over 10 years. By 2026, the program aims to plant 250–350 million trees annually.

Minister Wilkinson will be providing a program update in the coming weeks to ensure that Canadians are kept apprised of this important initiative.

Quotes

“We are honouring the theme for this year’s Earth Day — Invest In Our Planet — by investing in Canada’s forests. The tree I planted today is one of many that will enrich our environment and contribute to Canada’s net-zero goals. Every seed, every seedling and every tree brings us that much closer to our goal of planting two billion trees.”  

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson

Minister of Natural Resources

Quick facts
  • The latest call for proposals closed in February and received over 200 applications. NRCan will be announcing tree-planting projects as agreements are signed with prospective partners. The program aims to release additional calls for proposals to continue supporting partners with tree-planting projects across Canada.
  • 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 signalled 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 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.
Associated links

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SOURCE Natural Resources Canada

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