To celebrate the International Day of Forests, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, announced $2.2 million in funding through the 2 Billion Trees Program to support ALUS farmers and ranchers in planting 400,000 trees on their lands.
ALUS tree planting project on a farm in Outaouais, Québec. Photo Credit: Phil Boivin.
Toronto, ON, March 21, 2023 — ALUS farmer-delivered tree planting projects will contribute to the Government of Canada’s goal of planting two billion trees by 2031 to help combat the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.
ALUS is a national charitable organization that supports farmers and ranchers in building nature-based solutions, like native tree and shrub planting, on marginal or uneconomic areas of their lands. The ALUS program is delivered by 38 communities across Canada and over 1,600 ALUS participants are actively engaged in managing and maintaining on-farm nature-based solutions.
“The 2 Billion Trees program funding is critical to building forest ecosystems across Canada’s working landscape, reducing the impacts of climate change and reversing biodiversity loss,” say Bryan Gilvesy, CEO, ALUS. “The ALUS tree planting projects supported by 2 Billion Trees will help build resilience in Canada’s agricultural sector by reducing soil erosion, attracting beneficial insects and wildlife, and protecting against extreme weather, while also generating vital ecosystem services, like carbon sequestration, water filtration and flood mitigation, that benefit all Canadians.”
The funding will help ALUS farmers and ranchers in Ontario, Québec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan implement tree planting projects like windbreaks, reforestation and afforestation, riparian buffers and buffer strips over the next four years. These projects produce numerous benefits for the farm and local communities for generations to come.
Increasing Canada’s tree cover and improving forest health are a critical part of the Government of Canada’s strategy to address and mitigate the effects of climate change. The 2 Billion Trees program supports local organizations across the country in planting trees to conserve biodiversity, protect and conserve our water resources, and capture and store carbon.
“Canada is dedicated to helping restore and expand Canada’s forests from 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. Today’s investment will support the planting of trees on marginal, uneconomic farmland. This will produce numerous benefits for farmers and rural communities, including the creation of good, sustainable and local jobs while also ensuring lower emissions and providing cleaner air,” says the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources.
ALUS (originally an acronym for Alternative Land Use Services) is a national charitable organization that provides expertise, resources, and direct financial support to 35 communities across 6 provinces where more than 1,400 farmers and ranchers establish and steward nature-based solutions on their land. These solutions deliver ecosystem services to help sustain agriculture and fight climate change and biodiversity loss for the benefit of communities and future generations. Projects such as enhanced wetlands, windbreaks, riparian buffer zones, wildlife habitats, adaptative agricultural practices and other impactful environmental solutions produce cleaner air, cleaner water, greater biodiversity, carbon sequestration, erosion control, flood and drought mitigation, pollinator and wildlife habitat, and other ecological services.