February 23, 2011. Today the government of the province of Quebec, Canada announced that it will protect 50% of its northern area from all industrial activity. This means that an area of 500 000 sq km (193,000 sq miles or 123 million acres) will be protected for the benefit of nature and traditional aboriginal activities, such as subsistence hunting.
“This is a globally significant announcement” said Harvey Locke, Vice President for Conservation Strategy at the WILD Foundation in Boulder, Colorado. “The government of Quebec is now moving formally to join the global leaders who are responding to the scientific imperative to greatly increase the level of nature protection all over the world.”
In 2007, 1500 scientists wrote a letter through the Canadian Boreal Initiative, a project of Pew Environment Group, to Canada’s federal and provincial governments identifying the need to protect approximately half of Canada’s vast boreal forest in an interconnected manner.
The WILD Foundation facilitates the global Nature Needs Half movement which calls for the protection of at least half the world, land and sea, in an interconnected manner. “Quebec is now the leader among francophone nations and part of a growing group of jurisdictions that are responding to the need to greatly increase the amount of the world dedicated to nature and its natural processes.”
“We need to protect at least half the world to protect the natural processes on which all life depends, including our own” said Locke. “We are in the middle of a species extinction crisis, we are emptying the ocean of large fish and we are radically changing our climate. We must do better than this and Quebec is showing the way.”