LÉVIS, QC, May 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Mathew Jacobson, manager of the Pew
Environment Group's International Boreal Conservation Campaign in
Quebec, issued the following statement today in reaction to the Quebec
government's release of Plan Nord, a sustainable development initiative
for the 425,000-square-mile northern boreal region. This undertaking
includes a commitment to put half of the area off limits to industrial
"We commend Premier Jean Charest for announcing the largest land
conservation policy in history. The Plan Nord covers the northern two
thirds of Quebec, an area twice the size of Texas. It seeks to balance
conservation with development in a region that is home to some of the
world's largest remaining intact landscapes.
"We are pleased that the government has pledged to include ecological
planning in its legislation and to protect at least half of the boreal
region from industrial activity.
"Quebec's vision of integrating economic development and conservation on
such a grand scale is unprecedented, laudable and very complicated.
There are elements of the plan that need improvement, and we hope that
these challenges can be resolved.
"We look forward to Quebec's implementation of Plan Nord in partnership
with aboriginal communities over the next 25 years. In doing so, Quebec
will be able to create a new model for sustainable development."
In 2008, Quebec Premier Jean Charest announced that his government would
develop "Plan Nord," a 25-year policy for Quebec's boreal region, which
makes up the northern two-thirds of the province. The plan would
strictly protect half of the province's boreal territory (more than
212,000 square miles, an area about twice the size of the U.S. national
park system); apply sustainable development standards to the rest; and
respect existing rights and treaties with the region's aboriginal
communities. Legislation to withdraw 50 percent of the land area from
industrial development is expected this summer.
The Pew Environment Group is the conservation arm of The Pew Charitable
Trusts, a nongovernmental organization that works globally to establish
pragmatic, science-based policies that protect our oceans, preserve our
wildlands and promote clean energy. www.PewEnvironment.org
SOURCE PEW ENVIRONMENT GROUP
For further information:
Elyssa Rosen, 775-224-7497