Yesterday the Liberal government of Ontario announced measures to protect the far north boreal forest as part of a land-use planning process that is to get underway next month. A threshold of 50% of the far north will be protected from industrial development and the remaining land will allow carefully managed sustainable development.
This is a landmark initiative for a few reasons.
It is a committment to a land use planning process that will involve scientists, First Nations, Metis and local communities. It will protect high value conservation lands for many species including woodland caribou, wolverines, and the breeding grounds of thousands of boreal birds.
These conservation lands will help mitigate the impacts of climate change and increase the adaptation potential for species and people inhabiting the region. Importantly the announcement also includes a review of Ontario’s antiquated Mining Act.
Nature Canada wishes to congratulate the government of Ontario and the conservation community in the province who has been working hard for years to bring about this initiative. Bravo! Hopefully the leadership and vision shown in Ontario will provide an example for the other provinces and make Canada world leaders in conservation and sustainable development. We will be watching closely as the process unfolds.