The Discussion Document, titled ‘Sustaining Ontario’s Agricultural Soils: Towards a Shared Vision’ included a draft vision, goals, and objectives for soil health and conservation in Ontario with a focus on four key focus areas; soil management, soil information and mapping, soil monitoring and modelling, and soil knowledge and innovation.
The vision, goals, and objectives, as well as the four main theme areas outlined in the discussion comment were generally supported.
Respondents highlighted the need for greater clarity in terms of:
- Goals, actions, and timeframes
As a result of this input and specific comments of stakeholders, OMAFRA developed:
- Proposed actions that respond to the goals and objectives for each of the four theme areas
- Proposed performance measures
- Long term plans for implementation with annual progress tracking and five year reviews
Respondents were asked to suggest actions that could be taken for the long-term protection and conservation of soil health in Ontario. The most frequent responses included:
- Education programs and initiatives to support learning and knowledge exchange among stakeholders, including local and traditional knowledge
- Enhancing collaborations between governments, scientists, indigenous groups and farmers
- Long-term support for programs, including cost share funding initiatives
- Updating and improving public access to soil maps and inventories
As a result of this input, OMAFRA has proceeded with developing a draft strategy to promote soil health and conservation in Ontario including a range of proposed actions.
The draft Strategy is now posted for public comment (posting number 013-1373).