Largest conservation commitment in Canada announced today by Premier McGuinty



    ForestEthics applauds Ontario's commitment to legislate protection of
    22.5 million hectares of Northern Boreal Forest, securing 50 billion
    tonnes of stored carbon

    TORONTO, July 14 /CNW/ - ForestEthics applauded the Ontario government's
announcement today to protect 50 per cent - or 22.5 million hectares - of
Ontario's vast Northern Boreal Forest from industrial development. This
commitment will secure more than 50 billion tonnes of stored carbon, help
species and ecosystems adapt to a changing climate, and provide habitat for
the threatened woodland caribou.
    The area to be protected is 30 times the size of the Greater Toronto Area
(GTA), half the size of California and six times the size of Belgium.
    "Premier McGuinty's announcement today is the largest conservation
commitment in Canada and raises the bar for environmental protection across
this country and around the world," said Gillian McEachern of ForestEthics.
"We commend his bold action and hope that other leaders will follow - the
ecological and economic security of future generations depend on it."
    ForestEthics has worked toward this solution since 2005 using tactics
that included raising the profile of Ontario's Boreal Forest worldwide,
reaching out to more than 500 wood and paper customers, including working with
customers like Limited Brands, Staples and Lowes to urge government action,
and supporting First Nations opposed mining on their traditional territory.
The organization is a member of the Boreal Leadership Council and has worked
with the International Boreal Conservation Campaign, an initiative of the Pew
Environment Group and others, to promote the conservation of at least half of
Canada's Boreal forest.
    Today's announcement also commits to changing Ontario's outdated Mining
Act by the end of this year. Promised reforms include ensuring mining
development takes place only with First Nation consent and recognizing the
leading role communities will have in land use planning. The government also
agreed not to approve new mines or logging until land use plans are complete.
    Ontario's Northern Boreal is part of the largest intact forest left in
Canada, with 28 First Nation communities, and only two operating mines and few
roads. It is home to caribou, wolverine, lake sturgeon and polar bear - all of
which are under threat.
    From here, ForestEthics will be working with the Ontario government and
others to ensure caribou and the Northern Boreal forest are indeed protected,
as well as pushing for protection in the southern Boreal Forest, where caribou
are under threat from logging.





For further information:

For further information: Gillian McEachern, ForestEthics, (416)
938-6032

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