International Scientists Add Their Support to Plan Nord Conservation Policy

MONTREAL, Nov. 11, 2011 /CNW/ - On the final day of the consultation period for the Charest Government's proposal to protect half of the land area of the Plan Nord from industrial activity, an independent group of more than 750 scientists from around the world are hailing the initiative as globally significant.

According to the scientists in their letter,

              "While most of us are not from Quebec, as members of the international scientific community we strongly believe that this undertaking deserves our public support. In protecting northern Quebec's natural environment in fifty percent of the Plan Nord territory and ensuring responsible development in the rest of the area, as articulated by the Plan Nord, your government has set in motion one of the most ambitious sustainable development and environmental conservation projects in North America, and one that could serve as a model for the rest of the world."

The scientists go on to state that it is important that conservation and development decisions in the Plan Nord be "guided by and based upon sound science," and make specific recommendations for ensuring the "long-term viability of the northern ecosystem."

In sending this letter, the scientists join the majority of Quebecers who also support the conservation of the North.  According to a recent Leger Marketing poll, 81% of Quebecers say that at least 50% of the Plan Nord area should be protected.

The Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI) has endorsed the scientists' recommendations.

"It is as wonderful as it is rare to see science, the public will, and public policy all in harmony," said Suzann Méthot, Regional Director in Quebec for CBI. "If the government stays on course and follows these recommendations, we will have truly created something of which all Quebecers can be proud."

For the text of the signatories' independent letter, please see:

About the Canadian Boreal Initiative
The Canadian Boreal Initiative brings together diverse partners to create new solutions for boreal conservation and sustainable development. It acts as a catalyst for on-the-ground efforts across the Boreal Forest region by governments, industry, Aboriginal communities, conservation groups, major retailers, financial institutions and scientists.


SOURCE Canadian Boreal Initiative

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Suzanne Fraser, Canadian Boreal Initiative

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