The Kativik Regional Government invites comments on protected areas in Nunavik

The Kativik Regional Government is seeking the opinion of Nunavimmiut on the areas to be protected from development in Nunavik.

Since 2020, more than 29,000 square kilometers of territory in the region have been added to the register of protected areas in Quebec. The provincial government had set itself the goal of designating 20% of Nunavik as a protected area due to its significant biodiversity.

Currently, 14 percent of the territory has been granted official protected status, meaning it is not open to any form of industrial activity or exploration for natural resources such as mining and forestry.

The eight areas designated since 2020, which comprise these 29,000 square kilometers, would bring this figure to 20%.

Before they obtain permanent and official protection status, however, the KRG asks the Inuit of Nunavik, the Naskapis of Kawawachikamach and the Crees of Whapmagoostui to give their opinion on the current size of these nature reserves and their relevance.

Consultations for protected areas will begin in November in Kuujjuaq from November 1 to 4, Aupaluk on November 7, Tasiujaq on November 14, Kangiqsualujjuaq on November 17 and 18 and in Kangirsuk on November 9 and 10. In the other communities, information and consultation sessions will continue throughout the winter and spring of 2023. Information on this will be available at a later date.

Following the consultations, there will be field trips to allow people to visit the protected areas. It will also be an opportunity for community reflection and to help define the future operation of protected areas, whether they are strictly conservation areas or spaces for the development and promotion of recreational tourism.

According to the Quebec Ministry of the Environment, the eight areas designated since 2020 and on which the consultations relate are Rivière-Innuksuac, Rivière-Arnaud, Tursujuq-Nord, Tursujuq-Centre, Tursujuq-Sud, Canyon-Eaton, Marais-Maritime and Rivière-George-Nord. In addition, the limits of the existing Rivière-Marralik and Rivière-George reserves will be extended.

The provincial government has not released a timetable for when it hopes these areas will gain formal protection.

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