Protect the Broadback Forest: Greenpeace urges Quebec Premier to respect Waswanipi Cree Nation
February 22, 2016 (Quebec) – Today, Greenpeace lent its voice to representatives of the Waswanipi Cree Nation, as well as to scientists and other environmental organizations, urging Premier Couillard to protect the last pristine forest on Cree ancestral territory. Proposed logging roads and clearcuts, currently under government review, threaten over 113,000 hectares of forest, south of the Broadback River.
“The roads and logging in the Broadback Endangered Forest are direct threats to the Cree way of life, to the survival of the woodland caribou, and to the integrity of one of Quebec’s last great forests,” said Nicolas Mainville, forest campaigner at Greenpeace. “The Cree have waited long enough. We now ask Mr. Couillard to act by July 2016 in order to protect this extraordinary forest once and for all.”
The road construction project is backed by five logging companies, including Resolute Forest Products and Eacom Timber Corporation, and is being evaluated by the Environmental and Social Impact Review Committee (COMEX), presided by Mr. André Boisclair. Greenpeace submitted a comprehensive report to the COMEX demonstrating that authorizing this project, without community support, would have major environmental impacts on Waswanipi ancestral territory, and would seriously undermine the credibility of the committee’s public consultations.
A wave of opposition unfolded during the 30-day period given by the COMEX to hear the public’s concerns. During community hearings on January 19, the logging industry’s project was unanimously rejected by the Waswanipi Cree Nation and by scientific experts on site, while nearly 9,000 citizens subsequently wrote to Mr. Boisclair asking him to reject the project by signing on to the joint Cree-Greenpeace website: www.savethebroadback.ca.
“These roads and any logging by companies in the last pristine forest on Waswanipi ancestral territory will be very controversial and risk access to international markets. An expansion of protected areas in the Broadback Endangered Forest, as well as a credible strategy to protect the woodland Caribou should be implemented before any logging operations are considered,” concluded Mr. Mainville.
|Marie Moucarry | Communications Officer | 438-993-56127 |
||greenpeace.ca/media Twitter : @GreenpeaceCA
Greenpeace has supported the Waswanipi Cree Nation for several years in their effort to protect the remaining 10% of pristine forests on their ancestral territory.
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For more information:
Marie Moucarry, comunications officer, (438) 993-6127
Greenpeace report submitted to the COMEX (in French only): http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/Global/canada/report/2016/02/Rapport_Greenpeace-Routes_H_et_I_COMEX.pdf