Protecting Nature

Conserving farmland, forests and wetlands and creating more protected spaces are protecting Ontario’s natural environment and biodiversity

Ontario’s forests, wetlands, parks and green spaces are among the most beautiful in the world. Our wetlands are biodiversity hotspots, serving as an important habitat to an array of plants, birds, insects, amphibians, fish and other animals, including many species at risk. Wetlands also provide Ontarians with clean and abundant water, flood and erosion mitigation, climate moderation, recreational opportunities and other important benefits.

In 2014, you elected us to build Ontario up. Since then, the Ontario Liberal government has taken steps to protect our natural spaces, including establishing and growing the Greenbelt and updating land use plans that help grow communities while protecting green spaces, farmland and lands and water at risk. It has also taken steps to protect species at risk and promote their recovery.

But we need to do more. Climate change, pollution, habitat loss, unsustainable use of our natural resources and invasive species are threatening our natural spaces and the species that live in them.

That’s why the Ontario Liberals will bring in new measures to protect Ontario’s natural environment and biodiversity. Our plan will:

  • Work with the federal government and key stakeholders to make progress towards achieving the Aichi biodiversity target of 17 per cent of Ontario’s lands and waters, including an initial investment of $15 million to preserve our forests, wetlands and lakes
  • By 2025, halt the net loss of wetland areas where wetland loss has been the greatest
  • By 2030, achieve a net gain in wetland area where wetland loss has been the greatest
  • Reduce plastic pollution from single-use bottles by requiring that at least 85 per cent of all bottles be recycled
  • Continue to grow the Greenbelt, which permanently protects over 810,000 hectares of green space, farmland, vibrant communities, forests, wetlands and watersheds, into proposed areas such as the Waterloo and Paris/Galt moraine complex, the Orangeville Moraine, the Oro Moraine, the Nottawasaga River corridor and additional catchment areas, wetlands and small moraines in Dufferin and Simcoe counties
  • Ensure the relocation of excess soil is undertaken properly and sustainably
  • Divert food and organic waste from landfills
  • Require online and on-label disclosure of toxic substances and chemicals in key consumer products, such as household cleaning products, baby products and cosmetics, starting in 2020.

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