First Nations of Québec-Labrador expects governments to honor their commitments to protect biodiversity and respect our Indigenous and treaty rights in our respective territories, including Aboriginal titles

WENDAKE, QC, December 19, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – The First Nations Assembly of Québeclabrador (AFNQL) and the First Nations of Québeclabrador (FNQLSDI) participated in the fifteenth edition of the United Nations Conference on Biodiversity (COP15)which took place from December 7 to 19, 2022in Montreal.

The AFNQL and the FNQLSDI want to mark the end of this important event by recalling the important participation of First Nations. They presented their projects, initiatives and issues related to the protection and conservation of biodiversity. COP15 was an opportunity to demonstrate that First Nations have played an important role since time immemorial in protecting and preserving biodiversity for the next seven generations.

Bee COP15the federal and provincial governments announced investments to address the decline of biodiversity by 2030 and to protect 30% of the territory. Note the government’s commitment Quebec adopt one $650 million “nature plan” to implement conservation measures for natural habitats, support indigenous people-led conservation initiatives, and protect endangered biodiversity. For its part, the federal government announced funding, specifically to support the Indigenous Guardians program and support the realization of four major Indigenous-led conservation projects.

While these commitments are interesting, the AFNQL and the FNQLSDI believe that sharing financial resources is not sufficient to meet the needs of First Nations. For example from the $650 million announced by the government of Quebecnothing but $23 million – which is less than 4% of the envelope – is allocated to support indigenous communities in preserving and enhancing protected areas within their territories. First Nations in Quebec should take more advantage of these investments to carry out their own projects and initiatives. They are not simple stakeholders in the management of the territory and its resources. First Nations possess essential knowledge for the protection and conservation of biodiversity, and have ancestral and treaty rights in their respective territories.

In addition to an equitable distribution of financial resources, the AFNQL and the FNQLSDI expect concrete actions to follow from governments’ commitments on COP15. It is time to take action for the protection and restoration of caribou and the creation of protected areas: two issues among many others that have been held up for too long by the government of Quebec.

Finally, the AFNQL and the FNQLSDI reiterate the urgent need for cooperation in the face of the biodiversity and climate crisis.

About the AFNQL

The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador is the regional political organization uniting 43 First Nations Chiefs Quebec and labrador.

About the FNQLSDI

The First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Sustainable Development Institute (FNQLSDI) was founded in 2000 by the heads of the AFNQL. Its mission is to provide First Nations with a dynamic service center to support their actions to preserve healthy areas and resources, develop sustainable communities, and promote the recognition of their rights.

SOURCE Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and labrador



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