Canada’s 2 Billion Trees program surpasses goals; plans to plant 56 million more
August 4, 2023 By Natural Resources Canada
Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson has announced that Canada has supported the planting of over 110 million trees since the program was launched in 2021, exceeding the goal to plant approximately 90 million trees during the first two years of the program and is putting us on track to achieve the two billion trees commitment.
At an Aug. 2 event in Surrey, B.C., to support the Surrey Parks Forest Restoration Planting program, Wilkinson planted a tree with Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke. The minister also announced 16 new 2 Billion Trees program contribution agreements totalling over $100 million that will support the planting of an additional 56 million trees in the years ahead.
As Canadians continue to experience devastating wildfires across the country, causing the loss of habitat and biodiversity, Wilkinson confirmed four of the new agreements announced today, backed by $63.9 million in federal funding, will support the planting of 35 million trees to specifically help restore wildfire-impacted forests and rehabilitate reserve lands that have been damaged by previous wildfires.
Also launched was the 2BT Indigenous Funding stream. Of the 179 2BT planting and capacity-building projects funded under the program to date, one in five projects were Indigenous-led. The government will continue to support Indigenous-led projects now through this distinctions-based approach to program delivery, which was designed in collaboration with Indigenous groups, organizations and governments and fully recognizes the diversity of Indigenous cultures and priorities.
Provinces and territories are key participants in the 2BT program as managers of significant public lands, and their ambition and collaboration has been key to the program’s success to date. Canada has signed agreements in principle and contribution agreements with seven provinces and territories that are already advancing our planting goals. Moving forward, Minister Wilkinson will continue to work with provinces and territories to accelerate progress under the provincial and territorial stream of the program.
Planting two billion trees requires careful planning and cultivation of seedlings in nurseries, collaboration with different levels of government, non-government organizations and Indigenous groups, and a thoughtful approach to each stage of the supply chain from seed to seedling to planting. The Government of Canada will continue to work with program recipients to deliver on this program for the benefit of all Canadians.
The 2 Billion Trees program is helping to clean the air, keep neighbourhoods cool in the summer, create jobs and fight climate change while protecting nature. The program is on track to support organizations in planting two billion trees over 10 years from coast to coast to coast.
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