Cree Nation territories reserved for protected areas

December 17, 2020

CISION – Québec City – Through the Grand Alliance with the Cree Nation Government the Québec government will protect more than 20% of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory in the Nord-du-Québec region before the end of 2020. 23 new territories reserved for the purposes of a protected area (TRPPA) were designated recently. Until now 12% of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory was protected and the 23 new TRPPAs will bring to 23% the proportion of protected areas in the territory. The addition of the new territories brings the total to roughly 39 000 km2, equivalent to the area of Switzerland.
This marks a significant step forward for the Grand Alliance, under which biodiversity conservation and the protection of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory, especially the establishment of an interconnected network of protected areas, are central to the social acceptability approach linked to future socioeconomic development projects.
Today’s announcement marks the beginning of the multi-stage approach that will lead to the granting of legally protected status to the territories in question. The inhabitants and users of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory will be able to participate in the approach.
The following steps will be launched shortly:
• knowledge acquisition and public consultations to finalize the delimitation of the territories;
• the drafting of conservation plans;
• the completion of the procedure to assess and examine impact on the natural and social environments stemming from the obligations under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement.
The ultimate objective is to establish biodiversity reserves in the TRPPAs. In some instances, portions of the territory could receive the protected status of a national park. The establishment in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay Territory of the new protected areas is enabling the government to contribute significantly to fulfilling its environmental and biodiversity conservation commitments both among its immediate partners and abroad.