Le Lézard
Classified in: Environment, Business
Subjects: CPN, ENI, ENP, ESG

Protecting Lands in our Communities - Ontario's Upcoming Election is the Opportunity to Protect Nature Across the Province

TORONTO, May 11, 2022 /CNW/ - Over 110,000 acres of significant natural lands and sensitive wildlife habitat having been protected through the actions of Ontario's land trusts. Ontario has a strong track record of protecting land that has critical biodiversity, natural heritage, and agricultural benefits. Over the last 50 years Ontario governments have played a vital role in protecting important parcels of land, including the Greenbelt, the Oak Ridges Moraine, the Niagara Escarpment, new provincial parks and parts of the far North.

The protection and restoration of the green spaces in our communities can mitigate the effects of climate change, provide cleaner air, and water and significantly improve the overall well-being of Ontarians. The protection of land will also improve important linkages between trails or natural heritage systems in all areas of the province and help Canada reach its goal of 30 per cent protected land by 2030. Climate mitigation and biodiversity are vital to maintaining a healthy planet.

This upcoming provincial election, we're calling on the government to build on its commitment and work with the Ontario Land Trust Alliance to protect an average of 3,000 acres in every region and county in the province. This will double the amount of land protected by land trusts in Ontario. To support this effort, we are asking the province to invest $80 million over the next 10 years. This could be matched with $160 million from land donations and individual donors, foundations and other public funding ? matching federal support.

"There's no better time to empower Ontarians to protect the delicate ecosystems in our communities that cannot be replaced," said Alison Howson, Executive Director, Ontario Land Trust Alliance. "Protecting green spaces is important for every candidate in every riding across the province."

With provincial support we can protect over 100 endangered species, enhance recreational and hiking connections, support carbon sequestration and provide Indigenous peoples with opportunities to protect land that benefits their communities and interests.

"Thames Talbot Land Trust has ambitious plans for land conservation in the Carolinian Zone, one of Canada's biodiversity hotspots. We need nature now more than ever - for wildlife to thrive, for climate change mitigation and for healthy communities," said Daria Koscinski, Executive Director, Thames Talbot Land Trust. "The Ontario Land Trust Alliance is a strong voice advocating for and supporting our work through training, services, and collaborative projects that make a big impact across Ontario."

Supporting land trusts is key to protecting the nature we all love and value in our communities. OLTA is committed to working with the next Ontario Government to continue Ontario's legacy of protecting our forests, wetlands, lakes and rivers for our future generation.

About Ontario Land Trust Alliance

Ontario Land Trust Alliance (OLTA) is a registered charity focused on providing community, knowledge sharing and support to land trusts and other groups committed to land conservation across Ontario.

SOURCE Ontario Land Trust Alliance

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