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9 Feb 2012

Guidelines for protecting 50% of the territory of the Plan Nord

Québec Premier Jean Charest

Québec Premier Jean Charest and Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks Pierre Arcand today unveiled the guidelines that are to frame the government’s commitment to dedicate 50% of the area of the Plan Nord territory to environmental protection, safeguarding biodiversity, strengthening the natural heritage and non-industrial development by 2035.

No other government in the world has protected an area so vast in such a short span of time. Our unique northern heritage is an important symbol of the identity of all Québécois. We are proud of this heritage, and we want to make the Plan Nord a sustainable development and environmental protection benchmark worldwide,” declared the premier.

The new guidelines for attaining the objective of protecting 50% of the territory of the Plan Nord by 2035 are as follows:

  • Create Protected Areas on 20% of the Territory of the Plan Nord by 2020

  • Develop Ecological and Environmental Knowledge

  • Initiate Ecological Planning by 2013

  • Propose an Appropriate Legal Framework

  • Develop an Implementation Strategy
  • Ensure the Ways and Means of Account Rendering


The Québec North is one of the last immense tracts of pristine natural space on Earth, and we are going to protect 50% of this vast expanse, which is some 600,000 km2 in area. Clearly, we will take the time needed to get it right. Ensuring sustainable development and optimal environmental protection requires proper planning. The guidelines will come into effect gradually, to enable us to adapt as environmental and ecological knowledge evolves,” concluded the Minister Arcand.

The Plan Nord
The Plan Nord is one of the biggest sustainable development projects in the history of Québec. It will take 25 years to be fully implemented and entail investments of more than 80 billion dollars over the same length of time.

Plan Nord
Guidelines and synthesis report on the public consultation
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