2004–2007 Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan
Sustainable development – because
quality of life counts!
A Word from the Minister of the
As members of the global community, we sometimes forget our
duties and obligations towards – as well as our reliance upon – the very
thing that creates, conditions and sustains life in the world as we know it.
I'm referring to biological diversity.
Fortunately, we are becoming more aware of the value of our
individual contributions to the protection, support and sustainable use of
all species, their individual variations and their habitats. We are also
gaining a better understanding of the social and economic importance of
these biological resources.
If there is one area in which sustainable development is
most significant, it is in the conservation of biodiversity. The
Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan is therefore an important component of
the government’s sustainable development plan. The number of partners
involved in the project, the plan's underlying principles, the human
realities the plan targets, and the partnership and participation our plan
calls upon reflect both the complexity and efforts involved in the
implementation of sustainable development.
The Strategy and Action Plan are gifts we are giving
ourselves in order that life as we know it may go on. As such, we will
endeavour to become more ecologically minded so that we may be in harmony
as we go about our daily lives.
What is Biodiversity?
Biological diversity, also referred to as biodiversity, is
the term given to all the species and ecosystems that make up Planet Earth
as well as the ecological processes of which they are a part. Biological
diversity encompasses all that is living, including the variations created
by genetic manipulation and selective breeding. This diversity forms the
biosphere, that mix of organisms that makes it possible for human beings to
exist on our little blue planet.
Quebec is one of the biggest regions in North America,
covering nearly 1.7 million square kilometres. This territory, which is
three times bigger than France, is home to almost 40,000 wild plant and
animal species, millions of domestic animals and a whole range of
horticultural and agricultural crops. An inventory of Quebec's natural
entities includes tundra, taiga, spruce and balsam fir forests, hardwood
forests and the St. Lawrence River.
The Importance of Action
The interdependence of nature and human organizations is
tremendous. The close relationship between all natural and anthropic systems
calls for increased and sustained collaboration to resolve the conflicts of
use and reduce stresses on the planet's vital systems.
There are many reasons why Quebec should find better ways to
manage its biodiversity, including the following:
Global decline of biodiversity
Quebec’s ecosystems are very useful and highly coveted for
Quebec’s economic future and competitiveness is contingent
upon the sound management of its biodiversity
Threatening invasive species
Current knowledge of biodiversity enables more efficient
Sustainable development measures must take biological
diversity into account
The 2004-2007 Biodiversity Strategy and
Action Plan: A Concrete Answer to the Preservation and Sustainable Use of
The Government of Quebec recently adopted a Strategy and
Action Plan that constitutes its 2004-2007 Biodiversity Strategy and Action
Plan. The mandate to coordinate and develop this plan has been assigned to
the Minister of the Environment.
Our plan is the fruit of public consultation and a vast
process of interministerial collaborations and commitments, the aim of which
is to reach the general objectives for the preservation and sustainable use
of biodiversity. Quebec's biodiversity priorities are as follows:
With its 2004-2007 Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan,
Quebec intends to:
Preserve Quebec's natural heritage by creating a network of
protected zones that are representative of its biodiversity, and by
protecting threatened or vulnerable species.
Help maintain biological diversity during the course of
planning and implementing activities related to energy, wildlife, forestry,
agriculture, mining, industry, tourism, small- and large-scale urban
activities and transportation.
Be mindful of biological diversity when implementing
government policy pertaining to genetically modified organisms, climate
change, water management, and civil and environmental security.
Harmonize civil society – notably Amerindian societies,
youth, non-governmental organizations and regional and local public
organizations – with the preservation of biological diversity.
Encourage and develop biodiversity knowledge.
Be a part of conservation efforts and the sustainable use of
biodiversity in Canada and throughout the world.
Major Sustainable Development
Sustainable development must be supported by tangible
action. The Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan is one of the government’s
most ambitious sustainable development initiatives.
The plan covers the environmental, social and economical
aspects of Quebec’s biological resources.
The plan is based on clear and mobilizing objectives that
aim at tangible, measurable changes.
The plan includes the preservation of biodiversity and its
sustainable use in all large-scale projects, strategies and government
sectorial and intersectorial plans.
The plan includes an annual accountability exercise with
indicators for results and follow-ups.
The Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan brings together
the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity. This international
agreement, which guides Quebec’s actions, addresses the following:
Conservation of biodiversity
Sustainable use of the constituent elements of biodiversity
Equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of
The Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan Features the Key
Principles of Sustainable Development:
Satisfying the essential needs of human beings as they
pertain to quality of life.
Social equality for the benefit of future generations within
the context of intergenerational equity.
Participation and commitment of all parties: ministries,
government and non-governmental organizations, youth, Amerindian
communities, business, etc.
More effective action by providing access to knowledge.
Prevention and precaution.
Respect for the supporting capacity of ecosystems.
Partnership and cooperation.
Biodiversity: An Asset of Tremendous
Throughout the ages, scientific and technological
development, art, culture and economics depend on nature. The entire
existence, evolution and history of mankind are inseparably linked with the
Nature's legacy is worth its weight in gold. Such ecological
wealth can be fully appreciated by measuring the roles that living species
play in the ecosystems. The splendours of nature also have aesthetic and
The experts are interested in the scientific value of
biological diversity. But, above all, it is undoubtedly food value and the
economic importance of biological resources that draw our attention.
In Quebec, biological resources are a mainstay of
sustainable development for the economy.
In 1999, in Quebec, the primary exploitation of
agricultural, forestry and wildlife resources earned 21 billion dollars and
directly employed over 200,000 people.
The Biodiversity Strategy and
Action Plan’s Commitments to Biodiversity
Some targeted actions and sectors:
1. Land use
Create protected zones that are representative of diversity
throughout Quebec, for a total area of 8%.
By 2007, create 10 new ecological reserves, protect 100
exceptional forest ecosystems, recognize 50 natural reserves on privately
owned land and create a national park in Nunavik.
By March 2006, introduce new requirements for the
preservation of biodiversity in the general forest management plans.
By 2007, integrate into the annual and five-year plans of
forestry industries the location of threatened or vulnerable species on
their land and identify the protective measures to be applied.
By 2005, integrate the Politique de protection des rives,
du littoral et des plaines inondables into all land use schematics of
the county regional municipalities (CRMs).
2. Fauna and flora
In 2005, designate 25 threatened or vulnerable species and
36 of their habitats.
By 2006, draft, publish and implement action plans for each
animal species designated as threatened or vulnerable.
By 2006, draft and implement action plans for each animal
species designated as threatened or vulnerable.
Broaden the scope of the Politique de débits réservés
écologiques (ecological reserved flows policy for the protection of fish
and fish habitats) to apply to other aquatic ecosystem components.
By 2007, reintroduce the striped bass to the St. Lawrence
By 2007, protect 100% of the known habitats of threatened or
vulnerable fauna and flora in public forests.
3. Agricultural activities
Incorporate the principle of ecoconditionality into
financial assistance programs for agricultural producers.
Set up pilot projects for the restoration of natural
habitats in agricultural areas.
By 2005, in agricultural areas, support the establishment of
wooded corridors along rivers and streams and linking natural habitats.
4. Industrial activities
By 2007, have industries characterize the industrial
discharge of all mining establishments.
By 2007, increase the number of new projects involving the
implementation of better business practices, including environmental
management in large businesses and SMEs.
By 2007, implement a sustainable ecotourism policy.
By 2007, equip the Ministère des Transports with an ISO
14001 environmental management system.
By 2005, apply ecological management practices to over 90%
of the green spaces created by highway right-of-ways.
Participants to the Government
Affaires municipales, Sport et Loisir
Agriculture, Pêcheries et Alimentation
Culture et Communications
Développement économique et régional et Recherche
Emploi, Solidarité sociale et Famille
Ressources naturelles, Faune et Parcs
Fondation de la faune du Québec
Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones
Société des établissements de plein air du Québec
Centre de la biodiversité du Québec
Conseil de l'environnement et du développement durable – 02
Fédération des pourvoyeurs du Québec
Fédération québécoise de la faune
Fédération québécoise des zecs
Hydro-Québec and Fondation Hydro-Québec
Union québécoise pour la conservation de la nature
For more information on Quebec’s Biodiversity Strategy and
Action Plan, visit the Ministère de l’Environnement’ Web site at