Mathew Jacobson, manager of Pew Environment Group's International Boreal Conservation Campaign in Quebec, issued the following statement today in reaction to Premier Jean Charest's comments on Plan Nord, the province's initiative for the northern boreal.
“We are pleased that Mr. Charest reaffirmed a steadfast course for Quebec's future, and has embarked upon a bold new model for conservation of the boreal forest. It is our hope that under his leadership, the Plan Nord will become a global example for conservation, sustainable development, and respect for aboriginal people and cultures.
"Today Mr. Charest has upheld his principles. If Plan Nord is executed correctly—using scientific principles and working with aboriginal partners—Quebec could leave a lasting legacy for Canada, open doors to increased economic opportunity, and provide a global model for other nations to follow.”
In 2008, Quebec Premier Jean Charest announced the "Plan Nord," a vision for the northern two-thirds of the province that would protect 50 percent of Quebec's boreal forest (550,000 square kilometers, an area the size of France); apply sustainable development standards to the rest; and respect existing rights and treaties with the region's aboriginal communities. On February 23, Mr. Charest addressed the National Assembly of Quebec and reaffirmed Plan Nord's commitment to environmental protection and aboriginal partnerships.