Natural Climate Solutions Fund
Natural climate solutions – also referred to as nature-based climate solutions – embrace the power of nature to reduce the effects of and adapt to climate change all while supporting biodiversity. For example, forests, wetlands, grasslands, and farmland have the ability to absorb and store large amounts of carbon (CO2), reduce the effects of climate change, keep our air and water clean, and provide habitat for wildlife.
What are nature-based solutions?
“Nature-based solutions are actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural and modified ecosystems that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits.” – International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Benefits for all Canadians
Natural climate solutions allow us to:
- decrease net greenhouse gas emissions
- advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples
- support biodiversity and habitat for wildlife
- adapt rural and urban communities to the harmful effects of climate change
- increase the resilience of our nature-based economic sectors, including agriculture
- create green jobs in communities across the country
These benefits will add up over time, and will provide us with cleaner air and water, protect us from the effects of climate change, and improve our quality of life.
Natural Climate Solutions Fund
The Fall Economic Statement in December 2020 announced a Natural Climate Solutions Fund (NCSF) horizontal initiative. This initiative includes three separate, but related, programs: Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) 2 Billion Trees program, Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Agricultural Climate Solutions Program.
The Government of Canada is committed to planting an additional two billion trees over the next 10 years as part of a broader approach to nature-based climate solutions. Forests and trees absorb and store greenhouse gases. They support biodiversity, regulate water levels, protect shorelines from storm surges and erosion, and even cool cities. We are working with diverse partners across Canada to plant two billion incremental trees (e.g., above what is legally required post-harvesting) over ten years. This will include support for targeted Indigenous-led projects, forest habitat restoration and projects that contribute to community resiliency, while creating green jobs in both rural and urban areas.
The Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund will focus on three main program objectives to effectively sequester carbon: restoring degraded ecosystems; improving land management practices, especially in agriculture, forestry, and urban development sectors; and conserving carbon-rich ecosystems at high risk of conversion to other uses that would release their stored carbon. Funds will also support monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emission reductions. This initiative will support improved land and resource management practices in sectors that have some of the greatest potential to store more CO2 while also conserving carbon-rich ecosystems. These actions will provide important habitat for species along with other benefits for biodiversity and for people.
The Agricultural Climate Solutions – Living Labs program aims to establish a strong, Canada-wide network of living labs. Through these living labs, regional leaders will bring together farmers, scientists and other sector partners to co-develop, test and monitor beneficial management practices on working farms to reduce Canada’s environmental footprint and enhance climate resiliency.
Did you know: “Natural climate solutions can provide over one-third of the cost-effective climate mitigation needed between now and 2030 to stabilize warming to below 2 °C.”Footnote 1
Working together to advance natural climate solutions
The Government of Canada has established an Advisory Committee consisting of external experts on nature-based climate solutions to advise Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) on the delivery of the Natural Climate Solutions Fund, bringing their expertise and leadership to this initiative.
Performance indicators provide data and information to track progress toward goals. A set of performance indicators has been established to measure and report on the progress of the Natural Climate Solutions Fund over the next 10 years.
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