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McGuinty to make Forest Protection Announcement

Posted by mhudema on July 14, 2008

McGuinty to unveil ‘vision’ to protect Ontario’s northern boreal forest

1 hour ago

TORONTO — Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty will announce a plan today to protect a huge swath of boreal forest in the north.

The Canadian Press has learned McGuinty will outline what is billed as his “vision” to protect one of the largest forest and wetland ecosystems on the planet. Government sources have refused to confirm details of McGuinty’s announcement.

But the Liberals have promised to develop a so-called growth plan for northern Ontario to help boost the local economy in “an environmentally sustainable manner.”

A similar plan is already in place for the Golden Horseshoe area to manage growth in areas with high populations from west of Toronto through to Niagara Falls.

Last year, 1,500 scientists from 50 countries called on Canadian governments – federal, provincial and territorial – to protect the 1.4 billion acres of boreal forest in Canada.

The scientists say the forest is the single-largest carbon storehouse in the world, with about 186 billion tonnes of carbon stored just in Canada’s boreal forest.

That’s the equivalent of 27 years worth of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels.

The boreal forest is under increasing pressure from logging, mining, tar sands operations and oil and gas companies.

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