Ecological Gifts Program

Golden Forest

Photo by Lyn Winans

Ensure donated land is protected in perpetuity by certifying land donations as ecological gifts.

Landowners who donate land or a conservation agreement/easement through the Federal Ecological Gifts Program can receive a tax receipt for the fair market value of the donation which can be used against 100 per cent of the annual income and against capital gains, spousal or RRSP income. The unused portion of the receipt can be carried forward for up to ten years. Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program provides a way for Canadians with ecologically sensitive land to protect nature and leave a legacy for future generations. Made possible by the terms of the Income Tax Act of Canada and the Taxation Act in Quebec, it offers significant tax benefits to landowners who donate land or a partial interest in land to a qualified recipient such as the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust. Recipients ensure that the land’s biodiversity and environmental heritage are conserved in perpetuity. The Ecological Gifts Program is administered by Environment Canada in cooperation with dozens of partners, including other federal departments, provincial and municipal governments, and environmental non-government organizations. Thanks to this team approach and a dedication to continuously evolving and improving, the Program has become more successful each year.

To date, 902 ecological gifts valued at over $571 million have been donated across Canada, protecting over 140,500 hectares of wildlife habitat. More than one-third of these ecological gifts contain areas designated as being of national or provincial significance, and many are home to some of Canada’s species at risk.