When we think of forests, we think of trees. But our forests are much more than trees – they are places of beauty and biodiversity that provide habitat for many species. These rich ecosystems also perform essential functions, including absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide, purifying water and producing oxygen.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), Canada’s largest national land conservation organization, has worked to conserve and care for Canada’s natural areas for over 50 years. Since 2012, a unique partnership with TD Bank Group (TD) has enabled NCC to protect considerably more forest ecosystems from coast to coast. In the past four years, TD Forests has helped NCC protect over 39,000 acres (15,000 hectares) in Canada.
“When we were designing the TD Forests program, we were seeking a partner who could help us bring to life the need to balance the environmental impact of our lifestyles with forest and biodiversity conservation,” says Karen Clarke-Whistler, chief environment officer of TD Bank Group. “It’s been terrific to collaborate with a credible partner like NCC with its depth of expertise in conserving important ecological areas.”
With support from the TD Forests program, NCC has been able to increase the area of protected forest habitat in southern Canada. Most Canadians live in the band along the southern Canada-U.S. border – as do more than 85 per cent of our terrestrial and freshwater species at risk.
“As our world becomes more urbanized it is essential to protect forests and the valuable habitats they represent,” says Ms. Clarke-Whistler. “That’s why a key pillar of the TD Forests program focuses on growing the area of protected forest habitat.”
TD’s five-year contribution is the largest corporate commitment to NCC in its history. John Lounds, president and CEO of NCC, says that this partnership is a strong example of NCC’s success in collaborating with corporations, foundations, governments and individuals to leave a legacy for the future.
“We are continuing to work with our partners to determine how Canada can lead the way in conserving and protecting our natural places now and in the long term, and how we can become an example to the rest of the world,” says Mr. Lounds.
View full report online at globeandmail.com