Led by Aboriginal delegations, the Great March for the Living began around
This march was organized by the Collective of Quebec Civil Society for COP15, which brings together 67 organizations, its allies, as well as indigenous delegations from around the world. Among other things, it aimed to send a “strong signal” to countries negotiating the next Global Diversity Framework, a world-class international agreement that organizers say will structure global efforts to protect ecosystems for the next decade.
Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montreal and President of the Metropolitan Community of Montreal (CMM), was present at this mobilization a few hours after the announcement of her commitment to protect 30% of the territory of CMMbefore 2030.
We are almost at 23%, and the remaining 7% will not be easy because there is a lot of pressure on the agricultural land and on the last green areas, said the mayor in a press release. To CMMwe believe that we can build and create intelligent density, but that it is absolutely necessary to preserve green areas for the quality of life and for future generations.
The spokespersons for Québec solidaire, Manon Massé and Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, were also on site to call on the government of François Legault to be
consistent and to make
concrete actions to protect biodiversity in Quebec.
That CAQ still turns a deaf ear to a request that is nevertheless essential, namely a moratorium on claims mining to protect wildlife sanctuaries and national parks from mining companiesthe leader said in solidarity during a press conference, adding that the lines of communication and press releases are not
According to Mr. Nadeau-Dubois, the protection target of 30% of the territory announced by Quebec is a
nice goal which, however, must go hand in hand with commitments that promote the conservation of natural areas.
If we have a plan until 2030, but we let the mining companies “rise” around the existing wildlife reserves, we are not very far ahead. And if by making good promises for 2030 we finance the third stage, a project that will destroy agricultural land in the suburbs of Quebec, we are not there eitherhe pointed out.
Indigenous communities at the heart of the mobilization
According to Marie-Josée Béliveau, COP15 campaign manager for Greenpeace Canada, this mobilization also aimed to assert the place of indigenous communities around the discussion table.
What we are asking policy makers to do is [non seulement] to consider indigenous peoples in all matters of biodiversity protection, but also to integrate them in decision-making, she explained in an interview. They are the great protectors of nature: it is in the original territories that we find around 80% of the remaining biodiversity.
Mrs. However, Béliveau recognized that the population could maintain a certain
cynicism compared to the large international meetings of this kind which often provide
Sometimes there are soft commitments that do not reflect the current crisis, and others that are given but not respected. Still today, Canada listens too much to the voices of oil and mining lobbyists: we don’t want to see a spectacle, but rather clear and strong statementsshe clarified.
Nevertheless, the campaign leader assured that these international conventions remain “crucial”, especially for indigenous representations coming to Montreal to be heard.