Quebec announced on Wednesday that it was taking on new legislation to regulate the protection of natural environments. The news was greeted by the Society for Nature and Parks of Quebec (SNAP), which sees progress compared to the old laws.
Bill 46, which modifies the current Natural Heritage Conservation Act, Unanimously approved by the National Assembly.
According to the Ministry of Environment and the fight against climate change, this new law will allow Quebec to expand its range of defense tools to accelerate the process of creating protected areas.
Added three new protected area status. “This will allow us to increase the proportion of protected areas in Quebec and protect more natural environments,” the Franకోois Legalt government estimates.
Marine use is created as a protected area for sustainable use and as a protected area of domestic initiative. The latter allows indigenous communities to propose conservation projects for areas that can be designated as protected areas.
Indigenous communities have regularly criticized the Quebec government in the past, arguing that they have not really consulted themselves in the process of creating new protected areas.
Quebec also announced that the new law would “make it possible to preserve the integrity of the island of Anticosti in particular”.
“The Quebec government has a wide range of effective tools to accelerate the conservation of our natural environment in line with today’s reality,” said the Environment Minister and the Minister for the Struggle against Change. Climate change in a press release.
For SNAP, this new law allows for the establishment of a new energy balance for environmental protection. “There are many benefits to this,” said Alain Branchad, a biologist and director of SNAP. The government is now committed to respecting the standards of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which is very important! ”
The law allows the government to turn lands into protected areas. The government can act upstream in this way. He represents his intentions from the beginning. For Alain Branchoud, this provision is like a “nature claim” similar to mining claims.
The SNAP director estimated that “the law also announced the arrival of new regulations” to implement the legislative objectives.
However, the creation of protected areas for sustainable use raises questions. The environmental organization is concerned that the law does not specify prohibited activities in these areas, which may apply to other groups.
Finally, the SNAP believes that while the new law could help protect the natural environment in southern Quebec, additional tools are needed to better protect endangered species.
Last December, the Quebec government announced that it had achieved its goal of protecting 17% of its territory, as provided in its international commitments. The goal is to reach 30% of protected areas in the coming years.