Quebec lives up to its word and will protect 17% of its land territory before the end of the year, by creating reserves all over its territory, has learned The newspaper.
The Legault government achieves this objective by creating protected areas of tens of thousands of square kilometers, especially in the north, in Nunavik and in Eeyou Istchee territory, but also in the south: everything will be announced during the day.
Quebec will confirm the creation of a biological reserve contiguous to the Parc de la Gaspésie, in the heart of the Chic-Chocs Mountains, a key sector of the habitat of the Gaspé caribou.
The Côte-Nord will be particularly blessed with thousands of protected square kilometers, including an immense territory along the great Moisie river, and 4,500 km2 in the Lower North Shore. Abitibi-Témiscamingue also has several preserved sectors, including Mount Kanasuta.
A park near Montreal
Further south, in Lanaudière, the Ministry of the Environment will protect part of the Forêt-Ouareau, a regional park located just over an hour from Montreal and which is of recreational and tourist interest.
In Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean, a 46 km biological reserve2 will be created around a tributary of the Péribonka river, the Belley river.
A government source is delighted: “This is the first time that Quebec has respected an international agreement it has signed on the environment.”
Alain Branchaud, Director General of the Society for Nature and Parks (SNAP-Quebec), is very satisfied. “It’s exceptional when you compare yourself to other provinces. Only Quebec and British Columbia will reach the target, ”he says.
“This government came to power and they had no plan to hit the target. The CAQ realized that this was an international goal they could achieve. They worked very hard and that is honorable, ”he said.
And it continues
Several environmentalists, including singer Richard Desjardins and the Action Boréale group, denounced the Ministry of Forests, which wanted to push back the protection of the territory to northern Quebec to avoid removing trees from the forest industry.
“We know that there are expectations for the south,” we admit. According to our information, the Legault government does not intend to stop there. The creation of a new type of protected area, with the upcoming adoption of Bill 46, will make it possible to preserve areas where a population already resides.
A $ 45 million fund is also being promoted to purchase private land for conservation purposes.
The government also intends to define new targets for protected areas.
Protection of the territory in numbers
- At 1is January 2019, 10,68 % of the territory was protected
- At 1is January 2021, it will be 17,03 %
- More than 90 000 km2 will be protected, of which more than 12 000 km2 in the administrative regions in southern Quebec
- The vast majority of these areas are located on the Côte-Nord