A new area in Centre-du-Québec and Chaudière-Appalaches protected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada
Over 1,500 hectares of wetland protected
The Nature Conservancy Canada (NCC) joins forces with Conservation de la nature Québec (CNQ) to announce the protection of 1,562 hectares of wetlands in the regions of Centre-du-Québec and Chaudière-Appalaches. The new protected area overlaps three municipalities south of the St. Lawrence River: Lyster, Sainte-Agathe-de-Lotbinière and Saint-Gilles, is larger than a third of the Parc national du Mont-Mégantic and has enormous ecological value for the region. It was acquired with funding from the Government of Quebec, through the Projet de partenariat pour les milieux naturels, and the Government of Canada, through Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Surrounding this new NCC project is a mixed landscape of natural wetlands and forests, and land used for agriculture and forestry. The wetlands here were at risk of being drained and destroyed through additional development, which would be a tremendous loss. Species of orchids and carnivorous plants thrive in bogs, and the presence of moose here is evidence that this large natural area provides essential habitat. These wetlands and forests help to purify water and air, and act as important carbon sinks. From the outset of the project, NCC considered including this protected site in a carbon exchange project for the carbon stored in this region’s forests.
In the coming years, this new natural area will be studied to identify the efforts needed to maximize the chances of protecting its ecological integrity.
In Centre-du-Québec, a practically continuous corridor of wetlands runs parallel to the St. Lawrence River. Protecting it, one parcel at a time, is long-term work, which is why NCC is joining forces with local organizations, including the Conseil régional de l'environnement du Centre-du-Québec (CRECQ) and Nature-Avenir, to protect this uniquely rich ecological corridor.
This project shows how NCC is accelerating the pace of conservation in Canada. In the past two years alone, NCC’s work has influenced the protection of over 1 million hectares (close to twice the area of Prince Edward Island), from coast to coast to coast. In the coming years, the organization will double its impact by mobilizing Canadians and delivering lasting, far-reaching conservation results.
NCC thanks its financial partners in acquiring this land: the Government of Québec, through the Projet de partenariat pour les milieux naturels, the Government of Canada through Environment and Climate Change Canada, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, through its North American Wetlands Conservation Act). We would also like to thank the forest asset management company Solifor, a Fonds de solidarité FTQ company, for its collaboration that led to the protection of these natural environments.
“Centre-du-Québec wetlands are extremely rich both for their biodiversity and for the ecological services they provide to the public, particularly for their ability to store carbon and purify water. Just looking at a map that identifies the wetlands in the region makes it clear that they are a major corridor for the survival and movement of species in this part of the province. In the context of climate change, it is more important than ever to protect these environments.” – Gabrielle Déry, Project Manager, Nature Conservancy of Canada
“Our government’s commitment is to protect 30 per cent of our territory by 2030, and within the framework of this objective, the conservation of natural environments in southern Quebec is very important. Through initiatives like Solifor-Lotbinière, we can expand Quebec’s network of protected areas in the coming years. In fact, a $200-million budget has been earmarked in the Plan nature 2030 specifically for the conservation of private land in southern Quebec. I would like to thank all the partners who mobilized for our natural environments, because it is by working together that we will achieve our next target and protect our rich natural heritage.” – Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment, the Fight Against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Laurentides Region
“Canada is fortunate to have 24 percent of the world’s wetlands. These ecosystems are globally significant as they capture carbon, mitigate against the impacts of climate change, and support biodiversity. Supporting the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s initiative in the Centre-du-Québec and Chaudière-Appalaches region, is an important step toward ensuring the health of these sensitive and critical ecological areas. By making investments through the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund, we are making progress toward Canada’s efforts to transition to a net-zero economy by 2050, helping to stem biodiversity loss, and contributing to job creation in the green economy.” – The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the country’s unifying force for nature. NCC seeks solutions to the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change through large-scale, permanent land conservation. As a trusted partner, NCC works with people, communities, businesses and government to protect and care for our country’s most important natural areas. Since 1962, NCC has brought Canadians together to conserve and restore more than 15 million hectares. In Quebec, close to 50,000 hectares have been protected. With nature, we build a thriving world. To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca.
The Projet de partenariat pour les milieux naturels (PPMN) is a four-year grant of more than $53 million from the Government of Quebec to the Nature Conservancy of Canada. It provides support for voluntary conservation initiatives to ensure the protection of natural areas of interest by establishing financial partnerships with conservation organizations in the province. The PPMN thus aims to develop and consolidate Quebec's network of protected areas located on private land.
Canada’s Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund (NSCSF) is a $1.4 billion, ten-year fund (2021–2031) administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada to help conserve, restore, and enhance the management of ecosystems such as wetlands, forests, and grasslands, in order to help tackle the dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. The NSCSF will focus on three main objectives: (1) conserving carbon-rich ecosystems at high risk of conversion to other uses that would release their stored carbon; (2) improving land management practices to reduce their greenhouse gas emission-causing impacts on Canada’s ecosystems; and (3) restoring degraded ecosystems. Overall, these projects will contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and increased carbon sequestration, while also providing benefits for biodiversity and human well-being.
The North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) is a program administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
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