Land use planning and occupancy
Faced with growing impacts caused by climate change, Nunavik is under severe pressure due to the development of various activities brought about in particular by a growing population, transportation needs, as well as the region’s abundant natural resource and hydroelectric development potential. In order to prevent the cumulative effects of these intensifying activities from harming the natural and social environments of Nunavik communities, strategic land use planning is encouraged by several northern organizations.
As the organization responsible for monitoring the application of Section 23 of the JBNQA, entitled “Environment and Future Development North of the 55th Parallel”, the KEAC must be part of upstream consultations for the adoption of government legislation, regulations and policies impacting on the natural and social environments of Nunavik. Even though the responsibility for regional development planning belongs to the Québec government, the KEAC believes it is important to develop a closer working relationship between northern organizational stakeholders, the concerned government departments and residents in order to foster the sustainable development of the communities and the region.
The KEAC has monitored development under the Plan Nord since the beginning of the Québec government process. Concerned by the potential consequences of industrial activity in the north and on residents, the KEAC feels it is important to improve understanding of the JBNQA and its specific provisions among stakeholders. KEAC participation on sustainable development and conservation focus groups has permitted the KEAC to be involved since an early stage in discussions on orientations for environmental protection, the safeguard of biodiversity and natural heritage promotion.
Position paper on the government commitment to dedicate 50% of Plan Nord lands to environmental protection, maintaining biodiversity, promoting natural heritage and a variety of types of development that do not rely on industrial activities. (November 2011)
Plan Nunavik (Parnasimautik)
Based on its concern for the environment and Inuit rights under the JBNQA as well as the strict enforcement of laws and regulations, the KEAC has followed with interest the work of the Kativik Regional Government and the Makivik Corporation on Plan Nunavik (Parnasimautik) which largely classifies information according to the same sectors in the Québec government’s Plan Nord. The process also proposes development projects for the next 25 years that are in line with Inuit culture and land use.
Master Plan for Land Use in the Kativik Region
The KEAC believes it is critical to prepare zoning bylaws that take into account use of the different parts of the region as well as environmental and ecosystem protection, in particular close to communities. Given the growing need for housing and the expected increase in home construction in Nunavik, the KEAC has reviewed different aspects of bylaws that could be used to implement the Master Plan for Land Use in the Kativik Region (1998). It in particular sponsored a study to identify information in existing bylaws of regional county municipalities in southern Québec that could be applicable in future bylaws for the Kativik Region.
Abandoned Outfitting & Other Camps
Scattered across Nunavik are a multitude of mobile and permanent camps. Some are unauthorized or have been abandoned. The KEAC believes it is critical to properly identify these camps with a complete registry revision and to implement an effective inspection program.
The KEAC is concerned by the potential increase in transportation infrastructure in the region that will result from the expected increase in development projects. For this reason, it undertook to examine the legal framework applicable to the development of the land transportation network in the region. The KEAC is of the opinion that transportation activities in the north must be regulated since they do not currently comply with the principles of sustainable development. In 2007 the KEAC released a position paper concerning the current and future transpiration development in Nunavik. As a follow-up to their 2007 position paper, the KEAC requested further information regarding the development of a regional transportation strategy for Nord-du-Québec.
During public consultations on the Québec sustainable development plan in 2005, the KEAC provided feedback on the process proposed by the Ministère de l’Environnement in its consultation document, the principals and measures set out in the government’s draft bill, as well as ongoing and future actions that would contribute to sustainable development in Québec.