Quebec Government Approval is Only Step Missing for Protection of 13,000 km2 in the Boreal

Canopy Applauds Conservation Vision of the Cree Grand Council for the Broadback Valley

Montréal, April 11th 2013 – Canopy welcomes and supports the announcement made by the Cree Grand Council, a protected area proposal totaling 13,000km2 in the Broadback Valley Forest of northern Québec.  Initiated by the communities of Waswanipi, Nemaska and Oujé-Bougoumou, these candidate protected areas are now included in a new approach to the entire watershed, increasing the effectiveness of the proposed conservation strategy.

“We applaud the leadership taken by the Cree Grand Council and support this unified and comprehensive approach across nations to help secure the ecological integrity of the Broadback Valley, one of the last intact forests of Québec”, stated Mélissa Filion, Canopy’s Québec Director.  “The protection of the Broadback Valley represents an unequalled and global opportunity with support from the Cree, environmentalists, forest product customers and the logging sector. Canopy encourages Ms. Marois’ government to seize this remarkable solution and create a global legacy with broad stakeholder support”, Filion added.

It should be noted that in 2010, Quebec’s Ministry of Environment completed an analysis of the performance of the province’s protected areas network and concluded that several additional large protected areas of more than 10,000 km2 were required to safeguard species with large habitat ranges, such as the woodland caribou, manage for climate change and restore and sustainably manage Quebec’s forested landscape.

The Broadback Valley offers a unique opportunity for legislated protection in Quebec’s commercial forest.  In addition to First Nations, environmentalists, corporate customers and logging companies’ excitement for protecting the Broadback, there is also rigourous scientific support for this protected area proposal.  All that stands in the way is an outdated government approach put in place by past provincial leaders to protect no more than 12% in each of Québec’s natural regions.

“Canopy is looking to this new Government of Québec to join with the Cree and show leadership by protecting a total of 13,000km2 in the Broadback. The time is now! All parties are looking for certainty and the opportunity to show the global marketplace that solutions in the Boreal Forest are possible has never been better”, Canopy’s Quebec Director concluded.