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Press release

Québec honours its commitment and protects 17% of its land and freshwater territory

Québec City, December 17, 2020 – Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change and Minister Responsible for the Laval Region Benoit Charette today proudly announced that the Québec government has honoured its commitment to protect 17% of its land and freshwater territory before the end of 2020.

The very recent designation of 34 territories reserved for the purposes of a protected area (TRPPAs) totalling 12 647 km2 and corresponding to 0.84% of the territory, along with other recent designations, adds 96 000 km2 of protected area, equivalent to 17.03 % or 257 528 km2 of Québec’s territory.

Like most of the recent additions that the government has made, the designation as TRPPAs of the 34 proposed additional territories will protect them until legally protected status aimed at permanently conserving elements representative of Québec’s biodiversity and ecosystems can be granted pursuant to the Natural Heritage Conservation Act or other legislation. The territories should ultimately constitute biodiversity reserves. 

It should be noted that the attainment of the target in the terrestrial and freshwater environment also hinges on the government’s commitment to protect the Île d’Anticosti in its entirety in the context of its registration as a UNESCO natural heritage site.
  
The establishment of protected areas is the cornerstone of any province-wide biodiversity conservation strategy and is contributing in an exemplary manner to the maintenance of the diversity of species, ecosystems, and wild genetic resources, and to the attainment of sustainable development and sustainable forest development objectives.
 
“For two years, we have made an unprecedented effort to protect Québec’s outstanding territories, with the result that we can announce today that we have established a network of protected areas worthy of our international ambitions. The total protected area in Québec is now bigger than the United Kingdom. This is very good news, more so because we are among the first in Canada to do so. With the $45 million in additional funding that we will allocate over three years to partnerships in southern Québec and on the strength of the new framework that the adoption of Bill 46 should provide, we are well equipped to confidently welcome the new decade.”
 
Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change and Minister Responsible for the Laval Region
 
“Québec can be proud to possess an effective network of protected areas, which complies with international commitments and affords enhanced predictability in the realm of socioeconomic development. The valuable collaboration of our partners, especially the Grand Council of the Cree Nation, with whom we have achieved the 20% target in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory, is a key success factor in this assuredly complex undertaking. All things considered, the outcome reflects the development that Quebecers want, that is, balanced development that protects biodiversity while maximizing the preservation and promotion of economic potential. In this way, Québec is demonstrating to the world its leadership and pragmatism in the realm of sustainable development, and its efficient business environment, which is now more predictable.”

Jonatan Julien, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister Responsible for the Côte-Nord Region

“Sustained collaboration between my department and those of my colleagues Benoit Charette and Jonatan Julien has enabled us to identify these territories and achieve the government’s targets. The protection of biodiversity, including wildlife, underpinned the search for the territories. We ensured that synergy was created with the protection of woodland caribou by pinpointing protected areas that will contribute to its maintenance. My department also contributed to the process with a concern for minimizing socioeconomic impacts on the communities that depend on forest-based development. I am proud that Québec has achieved its goals while preserving the vitality of the regions.”

Pierre Dufour, Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue Region and the Nord-du-Québec Region

Highlights:
 
The following protected areas in the terrestrial or freshwater environment have been designated since January 2019:
 
    As of January 1, 2019 10.65%
Protected areas Addition (km2) Addition (%) Total (%)
Proposed biodiversity or aquatic reserves in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Côte-Nord, and Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean regions 742 0.05 10.70
Île d’Anticosti 7 332 0.48 11.18
Aire protégée des Caribous-Forestiers-de-Manouane-Manicouagan 6 887 0.46 11.64
Eight territories reserved for the purposes of a protected area (TRPPA) in Nunavik and expansion of two existing reserves 29 784 1.97 13.61
23 TRPPAs in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory 39 142 2.59 16.20
32 TRPPAs resulting from the regional and Aboriginal consensus-building process in Québec’s regions 8 171 0.54 16.74
Two TRPPAs in the Basse-Côte-Nord region 4 476 0.30 17.03
  Addition of more than 96 000 km2 +6.33% 17.03%
 
Related links:
 
The list of the newly designed TRPPAs is available at:
www.environnement.gouv.qc.ca/communiques/2020/20201217-nouvelles-rtfap.pdf
 
To display the map of the newly designated TRPPAs, please visit:
www.environnement.gouv.qc.ca/communiques/2020/20201217-rtfap.pdf
 
For general information on Québec’s protected areas: www.environnement.gouv.qc.ca/biodiversite/aires_protegees/index.htm
 
– 30 –

SOURCES :

Geneviève Richard
Press Officer
Office of the Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change
Telephone: 418-952-6352

Marie-Eve Thérien
Political Advisor, Communications and Director of Parliamentary Affairs
Office of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister Responsible for the Côte-Nord Region
Telephone: 418-643-7295
Michel Vincent  
Director of Communications and Press Officer  
Office of the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue Region and the Nord-du-Québec Region  
Telephone: 418-643-7295 

INFORMATION :

Media Relations
Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques
Telephone: 418-521-3991

 

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