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From: Natural Resources Canada
August 22, 2023
Forests and trees capture and store carbon, making them an effective natural climate solution. Forests also clean the air that we breathe, improve water quality, enhance biodiversity, restore vital habitats and help cool our urban centres. Planting two billion trees in the next decade is a crucial part of Canada’s climate plan, and the Government of Canada is continuing to work with provinces, territories, local communities and Indigenous Peoples.
That is why the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, and the Honourable Steven Myers, Prince Edward Island’s Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Action, announced nearly $3 million to plant trees that will permanently expand forest cover in P.E.I. and help recover areas damaged by Hurricane Fiona. The Government of Canada is providing $1.7 million dollars under the 2 Billion Trees program (2BT) with the remainder being provided by the Government of Prince Edward Island.
Work in P.E.I. includes expanding the J. Frank Gaudet Nursery, partnering with the PEI Watershed Alliance and local municipalities, working with the agricultural community, private sector and landowners on tree planting, and replanting hurricane-damaged forests where needed.
By expanding both urban and rural forests through the planting of approximately 300,000 trees, Islanders will benefit from increased shade, expanded habitats for local wildlife and improved air quality. These forests will also provide residents with additional space to enjoy outdoor recreation activities while also increasing P.E.I.’s resilience to climate change.
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, including the agreement announced today with Prince Edward Island, 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.
This summer, Minister Wilkinson updated Canadians on our progress toward planting 2 billion trees. With 110 million trees planted through the program and its partner initiatives, the 2 Billion Trees Program has exceeded estimates of planting in its first two years by nearly 20 million.
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.
“Trees are essential to our lives — they capture carbon, improve air quality and support wildlife — and they are important allies in our fight against climate change. That’s why Canada has committed to planting two billion trees. Through this investment to plant over 300,000 trees in P.E.I., we are showing how collaborative work between the federal government and our provincial partners can permanently expand forest cover by ensuring that the right tree is planted at the right place at the right time.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources
“The Government of Canada is committed to helping Prince Edward Island reach its net-zero emissions target. Today’s federal investment of $1.7 million under the 2 Billion Trees program is the latest example of that commitment. This substantial support for smart climate solutions represents a firm step in the right direction.”
Member of Parliament for Charlottetown
“Removing carbon through forests is a key pillar in reaching Prince Edward Island’s net-zero goals. We are well underway in our mandate to increase our tree production by 30 percent to 1,300,000 trees per year. These trees will support areas damaged by Hurricane Fiona and will assist in planting efforts in areas such as riparian zones, retired agricultural lands and more. The growth of forest covered land will provide many benefits to Islanders and wildlife, enhancing biodiversity while providing forested areas for everyone to enjoy.”
The Honourable Steven Myers
Prince Edward Island’s Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Action
Natural Resources Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources
Government of Prince Edward Island