FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 28, 2018
41 BILLION REASONS TO LOVE THE GREENBELT AFTER 13 YEARS
Ontario’s Greenbelt is the gift that keeps on giving since its creation on this date in 2005
For 13 years, the Greenbelt has provided a wealth of benefits to the 1 in 4 Canadians living in or near this permanently protected landscape. As Ontario’s most popular environmental initiative, the Greenbelt’s forests, wetlands, soils, farmland, and rivers deliver $3.2 billion in ecosystem services to Ontarians every year. Since its creation in 2005, that represents $41.6 billion in direct benefits to Ontarians.
The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation’s recent report, Our Good Fortune: Appreciating the Greenbelt’s Natural Capital, identified a wide range of benefits, totaling $3.2 billion annually, provided by the Greenbelt, including:
- $52 million in carbon sequestration every year, with a total value of $11.17B in stored carbon
- $224 million in flood protection
- $367 million in clean drinking water
- $2.1 billion in recreational activities, including bird-watching, angling, cycling, ATVing, and more
This wealth of benefits is a result of the health of the Greenbelt’s natural features and their proximity to the over 9 million Ontarians who enjoy living, working and recreating in the Greenbelt. As our region grows by 4 million people over the next 25 years, investments in the restoration and enhancement of these systems will be essential to ensuring the Greenbelt continues to make the region more livable and prosperous.
“The Greenbelt is a prominent example of how we can utilize our natural systems and unique landscapes to improve our resiliency in the face of climate change while creating economic and financial benefits for the province of Ontario,” said Ed McDonnell, CEO of Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. “Sustaining the Greenbelt will help ensure that it continues to serve future generations and the 7 in 10 Ontarians who directly benefit from the Greenbelt today.”
- 30 -
About the Greenbelt:
Ontario’s Greenbelt is the solution for fresh air, clean water, and a thriving economy with healthy local food and active outdoor recreation. At 2 million acres, it’s the world’s largest permanently protected greenbelt, keeping our farmlands, forests, and wetlands safe and secure. The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation works to help keep farmers successful, strengthen local economies, protect natural features, and promote sustainable growth. Learn more at greenbelt.ca.
Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation
Office: (416) 960-0001, ext. 306