New carbon forest takes root in Ontario

Animation of Carbon cycle in a forest. Obtaine...
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Strathroy, Ontario – TD Bank Financial Group (TD), in partnership with Tree Canada and the Munsee-Delaware Nation, announced today the planting of Ontario’s newest carbon forest, which will see a total of 77,000 fast growing hardwood trees planted on 48 hectares of abandoned farmland on the Munsee-Delaware First Nation land in Southwestern Ontario.

“This creative partnership will help launch a new enterprise that will train our community to develop and manage carbon forests, creating jobs and a new sustainable industry, which mirrors our environmental values,” said Chief Patrick Waddilove of the Munsee-Delaware Nation.

Tree planting on Munsee-Delaware Nation land is expected to be completed by August 2010. During their 31 years of growth, the trees are expected to sequester 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide after which they will be harvested for biofuel production. Biofuel, by replacing carbon-based energy sources (such as gasoline or coal) will further reduce emissions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

“We congratulate the Munsee-Delaware First Nations and Tree Canada on demonstrating the foresight and leadership to put this thinking into practice,” said Karen Clarke-Whistler, Chief Environment Officer, TD. “By finding new and creative ways to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions – and connecting them to how we live and work – we’re proving we can adapt to living in a low carbon economy.”

This is the first carbon forest to be developed under Tree Canada’s Forest and Urban Tree Carbon Project Protocol, a comprehensive guide that details how Tree Canada accounts for the greenhouse gas value of the trees. The protocol was peer reviewed by Climate Change Central, Saskatchewan Research Council, Smart Forest Biomass Ltd., and the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi.

“We’re excited to be working with TD and the Munsee-Delaware Nation to establish the first carbon forest in Canada under our new protocol,” said Michael Rosen, President, Tree Canada. “This forest is an excellent example of the progressive work that corporations, not-for-profits and First Nations can accomplish by working in partnership to promote sustainable development.”

The Carbon Forest is the latest in a series of initiatives TD has launched in support of its commitment to being carbon neutral. TD is using its carbon neutral initiative to promote innovative energy conservation projects with community partners. TD has partnered with, for example: Habitat for Humanity Canada, to help them build more energy efficient low income housing; and through its investment in the Greening Canada Fund, TD is helping the Toronto District School Board fund the energy retrofits of schools.

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