Our network of protected areas aims to protect Quebec's biological diversity for future generations – from the vast tundra of Nunavik to the rich hardwood forests of southern Quebec. While protected areas are rarer in urban areas, the pressure on natural spaces in urban areas is also the greatest anywhere in Quebec.
Conserving natural spaces and wetlands is one of the solutions in the fight against climate change and biodiversity loss. Natural environments give our land greater resilience and also help offset the disruptions worsened by urbanization, such as surface water runoff, flooding, heat islands, air pollution, noise pollution... Natural environments offer real refuge to wildlife and plants in our cities.
The nature deficit is also more pressing for urban populations. Access to natural spaces significantly improves residents’ quality of life in areas where development pressure is high. This is why CPAWS Quebec is working to create protected areas in several regions of southern Quebec.
The Forgotten Territories Map: a CPAWS Quebec tool
In December 2020, the Quebec government announced that it had reached the international target of 17% of protected areas. Despite that, nearly one hundred projects have been set aside in southern Quebec, totalling over 22,000 km2. The systematic blocking by the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs (MFFP) of any project affecting the amount of logging permitted largely explains the current situation.
Across Quebec, Indigenous community members, citizens and elected officials continue to mobilize to protect these areas.
It is for all these reasons that CPAWS Quebec has created a comprehensive tool accessible to all, which puts these forgotten areas back on the map.