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SFI, PLT Canada welcome launch of 2 Billion Trees initiative


December 15, 2020
By SFI & PLT Canada

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Kathy Abusow, president and CEO of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), provided the following statement regarding the recent announcement by Minister Seamus O’Regan on the launch of Canada’s 2 Billion Trees initiative.

“SFI and Project Learning Tree Canada (PLT Canada) are pleased to see the official launch of the 2 Billion Trees initiative today. This initiative has the potential to elevate the role that trees and sustainably managed forests play in Canada’s health, wealth, identity and heritage while also advancing nature-based solutions as part of our sustainable future.

We are ready to collaborate and leverage our scale and network to identify forests in need of restoration, identify new places and spaces in urban forests to increase our tree canopy, and to help administer the roll out and execution of this important initiative. This effort will contribute to more resilient forests of the future and support job creation and green infrastructure while helping to address global sustainability challenges.

Climate change has played a role in increased fires, pests, insects and disease which negatively impact our forests, our water, our communities, our carbon stocks, and our species, nationally and globally. The 2 Billion Trees initiative can play an important role in maintaining and growing our forest footprint.

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The 2 Billion Trees initiative can also support the increase of our nation’s tree canopy in urban centres and municipalities across Canada. Trees help cool cities and clean the air, making urban spaces healthier and more livable. SFI collaborates with multiple partners in managed forest landscapes and we are looking forward to playing an even more significant role in a collaborative manner with leaders in the urban forest space.

The 2 Billion Trees initiative has an opportunity to showcase Canada’s leadership on a global stage by feeding into the World Economic Forum’s 1t.org. We encourage the federal government to leverage Canada’s leaders in this space, including national and provincial agencies, Indigenous communities, the forest sector, non-profits, and conservation organizations with a positive track record in addressing important forest issues in a collaborative and solutions-oriented manner. We stand ready to support the federal government with our incredible network of committed and engaged partners in the forest and conservation sector, and are prepared to provide opportunities for restoration, tree planting, and nursery expansion with our growing and diverse network of 200 companies, 80 Indigenous communities, and our 3,500+ strong PLT Canada Green Jobs youth workforce.”