Protect Ontario’s Boreal Forests and Waters
- Complete comprehensive land-use plans in advance of development through the Far North Act and, in particular, create a comprehensive regional land use plan in advance of Ring of Fire mining development
- Support sustainable forest management and protect caribou by implementing the innovative solutions developed in the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement.
- Extend the province’s source water protection efforts into the north to protect all of the watersheds of Ontario.
Ontario’s Boreal Forest is one of the world’s most important climate control mechanisms. Without proper controls here on carbon stores, the risk of climate change would be greatly increased. Planning before making big development decisions only makes sense. The Far North Act is important because it leaves plenty of room for forestry and mining in the Far North should First Nations want it, but it also requires that we look at forests and watersheds in a detailed way before deciding where development is appropriate. It requires that a community-approved land use plan be completed before the opening of a mine. This is a sensible way to approach things in one of the world’s last great intact ecosystems.
Woodland caribou will not survive without large areas of natural boreal forest. Fortunately, the boreal region is big enough to accommodate both caribou and industry if we are smart in our planning. That understanding led to the development of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, a groundbreaking agreement between Canada’s biggest forest companies and environmental organizations to work together to conserve the boreal forest and endangered caribou. It’s a win-win agreement that will make our forestry companies more competitive in the growing green marketplace while protecting important forest functions like cleaning our air and water and stabilizing our climate.