Fall is a magical time in the boreal forest of Northern Ontario. Dark green conifers soar as golden light filters through bright yellow poplar and birch leaves.
If you’re lucky enough to visit this natural wonder, you’ll see pristine deep-blue lakes and rivers as you experience an otherworldly silence — broken only by insects chirping and buzzing.
“It’s such a huge, expansive wildness. It’s a type of quiet that I hadn’t really experienced before,” says Kristyn Ferguson, a program director at the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
In total, Canada’s boreal forest represents 28% — or 552 million hectares — of the world’s total boreal zone, according to Natural Resources Canada. The boreal zone is home to a wide array of mammals, insects and more than 150 different bird species, which is roughly half of the bird species in Canada.
Canada’s boreal forest is a climate change warrior, too, with this forest storing significant amounts of carbon dioxide in its biological sinks.
But this ecosystem is under increasing pressure from a number of threats.
To protect part of the boreal zone, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) — an independent charitable organization — recently launched the ambitious Boreal Wildlands Carbon Project, and TD Securities is stepping in to help fund the crucial efforts of what the NCC is calling the largest private conservation project in Canada.
TD Securities is investing $10 million in the Project to help conserve 145,173 hectares (358,730 acres) of boreal forest near the town of Hearst in Northern Ontario. The investment from TD Securities will directly fund on-the-ground conservation work in this critically important habitat.
As part of the agreement with NCC, TD Securities receives a portion of the carbon offsets generated from the Project, which will then be available for purchase by clients of TD Securities to assist them with their carbon-reduction strategies. The investment demonstrates TD Securities’ commitment to supporting the growth and development of voluntary carbon markets.
Alongside the investment in the Boreal Wildlands Carbon Project, TD Securities also announced the formation of the TD Securities Carbon Advisory team focused on providing TD Securities clients with advice about carbon offset projects and investments, as well as opportunities to purchase carbon offsets such as the ones available through TD Securities from the Boreal Wildlands Carbon Project.
What Is the Boreal Forest and Why Is It So Special?
The entire global boreal zone covers a huge swath of land blanketing the Northern Hemisphere, sweeping across North America, and into Russia and Scandinavia. Worldwide, the boreal zone covers 1.9 billion hectares, or roughly 14% of Earth’s land, and 33% of Earth’s forest area.
In Canada, the boreal zone accounts for 75% of the country’s forests and woodlands, stretching across the Northern regions of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, as well as large parts of Yukon, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Newfoundland & Labrador.
Considered part of the lungs of the planet, Canada’s boreal forest, as a whole, holds more than 10% of the world’s land-based carbon reserves, and their protection remains critical in the fight against biodiversity loss and climate change, according to the NCC.
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