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Community Forests Deliver on Conservation

Quinte Conservation Contributes 10,357 Hectares to Canada’s Protected Areas Target on International Day of Forests

© Quinte Conservation Authority

Belleville, March 21, 2024 – Quinte Conservation Authority (QCA) proudly announces its contribution of 10,357 hectares of conservation areas and reserves towards Canada’s international commitment to protect 30 percent of lands and waters by 2030.

Commonly known as the 30×30 target, it was adopted by nations around the world as part of the Global Biodiversity Framework at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP 15). The target aims to protect biodiversity, mitigate impacts of climate change and ensure the sustainability of ecosystems.

Based on an assessment completed in partnership by Ontario Nature and QCA, it was determined that 66 properties meet the rigorous pan-Canadian standards, warranting their designation as protected areas in the national database that is monitored and maintained by Environment and Climate Change Canada. Stewarded by QCA, these lands prioritize watershed health and the protection of the area’s natural ecology. Commercial forestry is not permitted.

The celebration of International Day of Forests on March 21st acknowledges the critical role that forests play in sustaining life on Earth. The collaborative effort to get more than 10,000 hectares in Canada’s protected areas database highlights the importance of protecting natural habitats and promotes responsible forest stewardship, especially in southern Ontario where conservation efforts face unique challenges.

QCA’s sustainable management practices are further reflected through Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certification for Community Forests.

QCA’s FSC certification, obtained through the Eastern Ontario Model Forest, signifies its commitment to environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management practices. This includes adhering to FSC principles such as maintaining biodiversity, protecting endangered species, and respecting the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities.

The natural areas included in the submission encompass a range of Provincially Significant Wetlands and Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest, serving as a vital sanctuary for many species. Among the diverse habitats found within these protected lands, critical ecosystems support numerous species at risk, including Louisiana waterthrush, golden-winged warbler, five-lined skink, and yellow-banded bumble bee.

QCA remains dedicated to upholding these standards and safeguarding ecosystems through partnerships and engagement with local communities for the benefit of present and future generations.


“We’re proud to have 66 of our properties, totalling 10,357 hectares, officially included in the Canadian Protected and Conserved Areas Database. This is a major milestone in our effort to preserve and protect the environment, strengthening the natural ecosystems across the Quinte watershed. As a local watershed-based environmental protection agency, it’s gratifying to be recognized at a federal level.” – Brad McNevin, Chief Administrative Officer, Quinte Conservation

“Ontario Nature would like to extend our congratulations to Quinte Conservation on this achievement. We are proud to work with organizations that uphold strong policies and strategies to conserve biodiversity. Quinte is a leader in Ontario and beyond.” – Caroline Schultz, Ontario Nature Executive Director

“Nature is our greatest ally in the fight against climate change. That’s why the Government of Canada launched the largest conservation campaign in Canada’s history in 2018, a campaign that continues to this day. As we celebrate International Day of Forests, I want to congratulate Quinte Conservation and its partners for conserving their lands and forests in the Quinte Region Watershed. By creating and recognizing more Protected Areas and Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs), we are expanding Canada’s conservation network—and when we work across all sectors, there’s no end to the possibilities for advancing conservation in Canada. Together, we are making progress toward Canada’s important conservation goals in our effort to halt and reverse the alarming, global decline of biodiversity.” – The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“FSC Canada applauds Quinte Conservation Authority for its remarkable contribution towards Canada’s protected areas target, emphasizing the crucial role of community forests in conservation. Their commitment to FSC certification underscores the importance of environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management practices. Together, we affirm that community forests deliver on conservation, ensuring the sustainability of our forests for present and future generations.” – Francois Dufresne, President, FSC Canada

“Certified community forests like Quinte Conservation provide incredible community benefits including sustainable wood products, outstanding recreational opportunities, and as highlighted here, critical conservation contributions. The Model Forest is proud of our family of fourteen FSC Certified community forests covering 65,800 ha in Canada’s most populous regions. Our forest managers are second-to-none and people and wildlife are the benefactors.” – Glen Prevost, Ontario Woodlot Association Program Manager.


Quinte Conservation is a community-based environmental protection agency, serving 18 municipalities in the Moira, Napanee and Salmon Rivers, and Prince Edward County watersheds. It provides cost-effective environmental expertise and leadership, with its main goal being to create a sustainable ecosystem where people and nature live in harmony. More information about Quinte Conservation is available at quinteconservation.ca.

Ontario Nature protects wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education and public engagement. Ontario Nature is a charitable organization representing more than 30,000 members and supporters, and 150 member groups across Ontario (charitable registration # 10737 8952 RR0001). For more information, visit ontarionature.org.

Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) is a non-profit organization that provides a proven sustainable forest management solution. Currently, over 160 million worldwide is certified according to FSC standards. It is widely regarded as the most rigorous forest certification system among NGOs, consumers, and businesses alike to tackle today’s deforestation, climate, and biodiversity challenges. The FSC forest management standard is based on ten core principles designed to address a broad range of environmental, social and economic factors. FSC’s “check tree” label is found on millions of forest-based products and verifies that they are sustainably sourced, from forest to consumer. ca.fsc.org

Eastern Ontario Model Forest is a not-for-profit, charitable organization. The EOMF works with government, landowners, industry, First Nations, non-government organizations and others to develop new ways to sustain and manage our forest resources. The model forest provides a unique forum where forest owners, managers, and users can forge partnerships, share their knowledge, and combine their expertise and resources.

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