Create a portrait of protected areas and other complementary conservation measures

Context and project description

There is a Quebec Register of Protected Areas and a directory of protected natural environments, but these two tools are incomplete regarding private lands. The St. Lawrence Action Plan project consists of using these documents as a basis for developing the most comprehensive portrait possible of all existing measures for conserving biodiversity in all areas – public and private – in the lowlands, the estuary and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Thus, in addition to protected areas as defined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the portrait will include sites acquired by conservation organizations, sites with conservation easements, etc.

The results of the exercise will be entered into a database associated with a Geographic Information System (GIS), and each conservation measure and protected area will be georeferenced as a polygon. All interested stakeholders will have access to this bank. This will allow them to increase the efficiency of their actions, as it will provide them with greater knowledge of deficiencies in protection in their area and conservation opportunities. This will result in more careful planning of actions in the area of the St. Lawrence Action Plan, which will ultimately contribute to the preservation of biodiversity. Furthermore, to maintain the relevance and utility of the bank, development of a mechanism is planned to monitor and periodically update the databases.

Results

The Portrait of Protected Areas on Private Land has been published on the St. Lawrence Global Observatory website by Environment and Climat Change Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service and the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques. The work leading to the production of the Portrait involved documenting 320 sites, covering a total area of 19,206.5 hectares, where conservation actions meeting the established definitions are being carried out. Of the 320 sites, 133 are recorded in the Quebec Register of Protected Areas and cover a total area of 11,104.6 hectares. The results of this joint initiative led to improvements in the delineation of about 50 of these 133 sites. The results also highlight the presence of 187 sites (8,101.9 hectares) that have yet to be inventoried. In addition to delineation improvements, this initiative documented protected sites not recorded in the Register, providing data on the reasons for the conservation action being carried out at those sites.

Participating departments

Government of Canada

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada

Government of Quebec

  • Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques