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Protecting Ontario’s largest forest region

Boreal forest © Vladimir Melnikov


We promote conservation in northern Ontario by supporting grassroots groups to protect the places they love, ensuring habitat protection through forest certification and promoting sustainable development that safeguards ecosystems and long-term prosperity.

We work directly with grassroots conservation organizations, Indigenous communities and groups, industry, scientists, and other environmental non-governmental organizations to support forest and wetland conservation. In collaboration with these groups, we work to:

  • Ensure wildlife habitat is protected.
  • Promote sustainable resource management to benefit local communities.
  • Build support for protected areas and other conservation initiatives.
  • Engage and train community scientists across northern Ontario.
  • Stimulate knowledge sharing through workshops, guided hikes and events.
Grey wolf © Holly Kuchera

Indigenous Peoples

Ontario Nature supports Free Prior and Informed Consent from Indigenous peoples for projects that may affect the lands they own, occupy or otherwise use, as set forth by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Our staff are focused on incorporating reconciliation with Indigenous peoples into our conservation work, through an ongoing commitment to learning and acting to support reconciliation. This includes co-hosting cross-cultural gatherings, supporting Indigenous-led conservation initiatives, and respecting both Indigenous and Western science and knowledge systems by engaging dialogue through mutual respect, kindness and generosity.

Cree children picking blueberries © Natasha Moine

Why it Matters

The boreal forest region is one of the world’s largest ecosystems, reaching across the northern parts of Asia, Europe and North America. On this continent, it stretches from Labrador through Quebec and Ontario and west to Alaska. This represents 5.9 million square kilometres – about 25% of the land area of North America!

Protection and careful management of Ontario’s northern ecosystems are important because they:

  • Provide habitat for millions of migratory songbirds, shorebirds and waterfowl, wide-ranging boreal caribou, populations of wolf and moose, and an abundance of fish like lake trout, northern pike, and pickerel.
  • Provide habitat for species at risk.
  • Support one of the largest reservoirs of fresh water in the world.
  • Include the second largest peatland complex in the world and a massive carbon storehouse – the Hudson Bay Lowlands.
  • Help species to adapt, and potentially migrate, in response to climate change.
Kids wearing Ontario Nature tshirts © Laura Paxton

The Boreal Program is generously supported by:

Government of Canada logo
Career Launcher (CiCan) logo