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Bobolink in Brighton Wetland, ON (Photo by David Coulson)

Bobolink in Brighton Wetland, ON (Photo by David Coulson)

Funding renewal means more conservation for Ontario's forests, wetlands and shorelines to benefit species and people

March 26, 2024

 

Good news for nature across Ontario!

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) applauds the Government of Ontario for renewing its commitment to conserve more lands and waters for people and nature over the next four years.

The conservation organization is responding to the announcement of $20 million over four years included in the provincial budget tabled today at Queen’s Park by Minister of Finance Peter Bethlanfalvy. This new funding will be delivered through the highly successful Greenlands Conservation Partnership program that was set to expire this year.

The Greenlands Conservation Partnership was launched in 2020. Since that time, the program has helped accelerate the pace of conservation throughout Ontario, protecting over 166,000 hectares of land and water over 75 key ecologically significant projects. This is an area equivalent to the size of the cities of Mississauga, Kingston, London, North Bay, Windsor and Peterborough combined.

With this renewed investment in a proven program, conservation partners, including NCC, can take urgently needed action to conserve, restore and manage even more forests, wetlands, shorelines and grassland areas for species at risk while providing access to healthy, natural spaces for people across the province.

The Greenlands Conservation Partnership program requires partners to raise matching funds from other sources, including donors, foundations and other levels of government to accelerate conservation and restoration across Ontario. For every $1 of provincial investment, these charities raise $1.50 in matching funds.

Dana Kleniewski, NCC’s acting regional vice-president in Ontario, says today’s budget is good news for nature and thanks the Government of Ontario, Minister Andrea Khanjin of Environment, Conservation and Parks, and Minister Bethlanfalvy for their continued confidence in land conservation partners.

“The Greenlands Conservation Partnership delivers big wins for nature and community access and connection to nature across Ontario,” says Kleniewski. “Conserving natural spaces plays an important role in mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change by providing safe havens for wildlife, capturing and storing carbon, and improving resilience to weather events, such as flooding and drought. Collaboration is at the heart of conservation, and we need not only the participation of governments and conservation groups, but also of landowners, businesses, communities, foundations and individuals — there is a place for everyone. We are ready to continue working together to protect nature, so it can protect us.”

Facts

  • NCC projects completed with support of the Greenlands Conservation Partnership include:

    • the securement of 7,000 hectares at the Vidal Bay Forest and Shoreline property on Manitoulin Island, creating a 14,000-hectare protected corridor from the south of the island to the north shore when combined with Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Mnidoo MNissing Provincial Park;

    • the expansion of the Alfred Bog Provincial Park near Ottawa, the largest bog of its kind in southern Ontario;

    • two new nature reserves established in one of Ontario’s most threatened landscapes in Essex County, southwestern Ontario;

    • landscape-scale conservation in central Ontario through the acquisition of more than 5,700 hectares at the Hastings Wildlife Junction, south of Bancroft; and

    • the completion of the largest private conservation project in Canada’s history: the 145,000-hectare Boreal Wildlands, near Hearst.

  • Background on the Greenlands Conservation Partnership:

    • In 2020, Ontario committed to a $20-million investment over four years to leverage private contributions to the Greenlands Conservation Partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Ontario Land Trust Alliance.

    • In 2022 and 2023, Ontario continued to build on the success of the Greenlands Conservation Partnership program with additional investments of $18 million, for a total investment of $38 million to date.

About

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the country’s unifying force for nature. NCC seeks solutions to the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change through large-scale, permanent land conservation. As a trusted partner, NCC works with people, communities, businesses and government to protect and care for our country’s most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC has brought Canadians together to conserve and restore more than 15 million hectares, including 252,000 hectares across Ontario.

The Greenlands Conservation Partnership helps conserve ecologically important natural areas and protect wetlands, grasslands and forests that help mitigate the effects of climate change. Through the Greenlands Conservation Partnership, a total of $38 million has been invested to date by the Ontario Government. Additional match funds are raised from other sources, such as individual donations and foundation support through NCC and the Ontario Land Trust Alliance, and other levels of government. 

Find photos here.

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Media Contact:

Brianne Curry
Communications Manager, Ontario
C: 519-520-1340

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Funding provided by Environment and Climate Change Canada