Executive summary

The Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry is releasing the State of Ontario’s Natural Resources (SONR) Report on the status and health of Ontario’s forests, fisheries, Crown land, and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Much of this information is already made available through other public government reports, but the SONR report provides this information in a convenient consolidated resource for Ontarians to access online.

The report analyzes 48 key indicators, including forest regeneration, fish populations, and terrestrial invasive plants across different parts of the province. The majority of these indicators show Ontario’s natural resources to be in a healthy and productive state. Natural resources are often concentrated in particular geographic areas across the province resulting in many indicators focusing on specific regions rather than the entire province. Some indicators require additional data collection and analysis before a trend can be established, and a few indicators reflect impacts which require long term solutions.

This ministry is taking action to address these indicators, including the development and implementation of stronger policies and legislation that will help better manage our natural resources and conserve our biodiversity. We are also working with over 30 organizations on the Ontario Biodiversity Council – the organization responsible for implementing Ontario’s Biodiversity Strategy – and our partners including other partner provincial ministries, other levels of government, non-government organizations and industry to deliver innovative policy approaches and programs.

Providing the public with current information on the state of our province’s natural resources is important because we all play a role in protecting our natural environment. The ministry uses this information to inform our monitoring activities and in the development of programs and policies that help us manage our natural resources for recreational, social, ecological and economic benefits in a responsible way.

The ministry draws on best practices in public reporting to build transparency, accountability and awareness of our natural resources. The report is based on input from subject matter experts and the best available information collected through our research and monitoring programs, partnerships with universities, and other publicly available sources of data, such as Statistics Canada. This report will continue to be updated as more current data become available.

Ontarians are encouraged to further their understanding of the province’s vast natural resources, and the positive contributions they make to our way of life and our economy.

This report is currently available in PDF format.