The Protection and Enhancement of Montreal’s Natural Habitats

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© Joëlle Roy LeFrançois
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  • Start Date : 13 Dec 2004
  • End Date: Ongoing

For over a decade, the implementation of Montréal’s Policy on the Protection and Enhancement of Natural Habitats aims to:

(1) maximize biodiversity and increase aggregate hectarage of protected natural habitats in Montréal;

(2) ensure the sustainability of natural habitats in existing City parks, and promote the consolidation and viability of park ecosystems;

(3) foster enhanced integration of ecosystems and natural landscapes in built-up areas.

The Policy identifies 10 ecoterritories, in which natural habitats are larger than 15 ha and slated for priority protection and enhancement. Conservation projects are elaborated through a concerted planning process, and are based on the ecological network concept (core zones, buffer zones, ecological corridors). The implementation of the Policy has allowed for the creation and expansion of numerous nature parks. After the Policy’s original goal was achieved in 2015, namely the protection of 6% of terrestrial areas in the agglomeration, the goal was adjusted to 10 % in the Schéma d’aménagement et de développement de Montréal. When taking into account large bodies of water around the island of Montréal, over 17 % of the agglomeration is already under protection, which corresponds to the international goal. However, the City wishes to concentrate its efforts on terrestrial areas, where balancing development and conservation is a very important and complex issue.

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