Montreal, Quebec Natural Habitats Protection
Status: Adopted on 12/13/04
On December 13, 2004, the city adopted a policy to protect and enhance natural habitats based on an innovative and promising approach that reconciles the need to protect and conserve our natural heritage with the need for urban development.
This policy was adopted after the 2002 Sommet de Montréal, when the municipal administration committed itself to developing policies and taking steps to pursue its vision of sustainable and high-quality urban development in Montréal.
The Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM) held a public consultation in April and May 2004 on the project to create a protection and enhancement policy.
Montréal, a city which has lost 75 hectares of wood each year over the past decade, became the first municipality in Québec to adopt a policy to protect and enhance natural habitats in December 2004.
Overall, this policy is intended to complement the Stratégie québécoise des aires protégées, which aims to protect eight per cent of Québec's territory. Based on this strategy, the objective of Montréal's policy is to protect six per cent of land on the island of Montréal, including existing parks, riverbanks and, above all else, ecoterritories. Ecoterritories are places with a large concentration of natural environments and a high ecological value. Identifying six sectors to prioritize because of their ecological diversity is central to the new policy.
City council has allocated $36 million for this project in order to make certain purchases and provide timely compensation. However, this investment is not enough to achieve the objective of six per cent. Creating key partnerships with landowners is essential to the success of his project. In fact, it has been shown that development focusing on natural habitats offers citizens a better quality of life and increases the value of surrounding property.