Last month, the Quebec government said it plans “to dedicate 50% of the territory of the Plan Nord to protecting the environment, safeguarding biodiversity and developing the natural heritage, as well as to various types of development that do not rely on industrial activities.” And, they committed to a public comment period to get feedback.
In case you’re unfamiliar with northern Quebec….that’s A LOT OF LAND! Here’s a map:
To support this great plan by Quebec, our Nature Needs Half teammate Marie-Eve, a native French Canadian, drafted a petition and we’re working to get as many signers to support the plan! Marie-Eve tells us that your encouragement would mean a lot to the government and people of Quebec. We’ll send the message with all of the signatures to Premier Charest on 12 October. *Sign the petition!*
Success of the Plan Nord means that in addition to the current protected areas in Quebec, Quebec will add an area the size of France or an area the size of California and Florida – combined – to its protected area network — and additional 600,000 square km (144 million acres) by 2035.
A few quick facts about Quebec’s North
- Located above the 49th parallel, the total area of the Plan Nord is 1,200,000 sq km, which represents 72% of the province;
- 26% of the land is already in dedicated to industry, forestry, mining exploration and energy, mainly hydro-electric;
- 9.15 % of the north is already protected through various designations;
- 4 aboriginal nations live there: the Crees, the Inuit, the Naskapi and the Innu;
- The north is entirely covered in Boreal forest, Taiga and Tundra. The forest represents a quarter of Canada’s remaining boreal ecosystem. Boreal forests are globally important because of their unique ecosystem traits and their role in storing carbon; and,
- The Government and Industries are planning to invest millions of dollars in new roads to facilitate industrial development, but groups and citizens have achieved to get a commitment to protect at least half of the land.