Lynx © Mike Dembeck | Nature Conservancy Canada
On Earth Day 2022, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) was proud to join with partners, including the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and Domtar Inc., to launch a project to purchase and conserve the Boreal Wildlands. It is the largest, boldest private nature conservation undertaking ever in Canada. The project will secure and care for nearly 1,500 square kilometres in the heart of northern Ontario.
Imagine a natural area spanning twice the footprint of the city of Toronto, criss-crossed by 1,300 kilometres of rivers, streams and shorelines. Nestled within the largest forest system on the planet, this area provides habitat for moose, wolf, lynx and threatened woodland caribou. It is also a precious nursery for North American birds.
This is the Boreal Wildlands.
This area of northern Ontario faces threats, such as intensifying industrial development and other human uses. In the face of these pressures, and two of the most pressing crises in the world—biodiversity loss and climate change—nature conservation offers a real solution. NCC has accepted the challenge to do more to protect nature, accelerating the long-term conservation of Canada’s lands and waters at an unprecedented pace and scale.
Once complete, the Boreal Wildlands project will protect forests in what is often referred to as the “lungs of the Earth.” The boreal forest in Canada holds more than 10 per cent of the world’s total land-based carbon reserves, and peatlands that absorb and store significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Boreal Wildlands alone stores carbon equivalent to the lifetime emissions from three million cars.
Capitalizing on this tremendous storage capacity, NCC is developing its first carbon credit program in Ontario. Proceeds from carbon credits sold from this project will contribute to even more conservation across the country.
Boreal Wildlands is the future of conservation; it is modelled on a “whole-of-society” approach that brings together a diversity of partners to ensure there is room for everyone to participate in addressing our most pressing issues. The project contributes to the Government of Canada’s commitment to conserve 30 per cent of our lands and waters by 2030.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada and its partners are seeking lasting conservation outcomes that also honour Indigenous relationships with the land, such as access for harvesting and space for knowledge-sharing. A joint research project with a local Indigenous community, monitoring woodland caribou populations, is already underway.
Since launching the fundraising appeal to secure the Boreal Wildlands project, NCC has received overwhelming support from around the globe. But your support is still needed to help NCC buy and protect this natural area. Once we reach our fundraising goal, we can ensure the lands and waters of the natural area are protected and cared for, for generations to come. For a stunning, bird’s-eye view of this area, and to join us in making history, visit borealwildlands.ca.
About Nature Conservancy Canada
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the country’s unifying force for nature, working to deliver large-scale, permanent land conservation. With nature we are building a thriving world.