Ontario takes big step forward to plan for northern prosperity

OTTAWA, March 25 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI) applauds today's announcement of $45 million in Ontario's Budget 2010 to support northern First Nations community land use planning and training.

"This is great news," said Larry Innes, executive director of CBI. "We commend the Government for recognizing the need to invest in First Nations capacity, enabling communities to prepare and plan for economic prosperity and to take lead roles in environmental stewardship."

Ontario's northern Boreal region extends north from 51 degrees, and covers more than 40% of the province. It is part of the most intact forest region left on earth. It is the homeland of many Aboriginal communities and supports a rich diversity of wildlife. The region's natural wealth sustains hundreds of Aboriginal communities and supports thousands of jobs. As part of the world's largest land-based natural storehouse of carbon, Ontario's Boreal region stores an estimated 49B tonnes of carbon, most of it in peatlands and wetlands, and absorbs about 12.5M tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere every year.

The Canadian Boreal Initiative brings together diverse partners to create new solutions for Boreal Forest conservation and acts as a catalyst for on-the-ground efforts across the Boreal Forest by governments, industry, Aboriginal communities, conservation groups, major retailers, financial institutions, and scientists.

SOURCE Canadian Boreal Initiative

For further information: For further information: Suzanne Fraser, director of communications, (613) 552-7277 or sfraser@borealcanada.ca

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Canadian Boreal Initiative

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ONTARIO BUDGET 2010

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