Protecting the Biodiversity
The primary threats to biodiversity arise from the transformation of ecosystems through woodland fragmentation and wetland destruction, the spread of invasive exotic species, and climate change. These factors also contribute to ocean acidification, coastline erosion and extreme meteorological events. The resulting damage typically occurs in the form of habitat loss, degradation of ecosystem services, reduced species abundance or changes in species distribution.
Projects to Protect the Biodiversity of the St. Lawrence
In light of this, the governments of Canada and Quebec have agreed on the necessity of maintaining their efforts to develop integrative tools to assist in responding in a coordinated manner to existing and emerging problems.
Their activities in this regard are guided by three orientations, each associated with specific objectives and projects:
- Identify, protect, restore and enhance areas of ecological interest
- Prevent the introduction and control the spread of invasive exotic species
- Assess the impact of climate change on ecosystems
To complement the work being undertaken by governments, non-governmental organizations and non-profit organizations are encouraged to take action by presenting a project supported by their community under the Community Interaction Program.
1st Orientation: Identify, protect, restore and enhance areas of ecological interest
Loss and alteration of habitats are the biggest threats to biodiversity. Wetlands are particularly sensitive habitats. They are very important for both fauna and flora because they allow many species to carry out all or part of their life cycle and they contribute to the purification of water and the regulation of water levels. The marine biodiversity of the St. Lawrence River also merits particular attention because the pressures put on marine ecosystems are becoming greater and greater
2nd Orientation: Prevent the introduction and control the spread of invasive exotic species
Invasive exotic species, whether plant or animal, are a significant threat to biodiversity: they can cause a decline in indigenous species and irreversibly upset the natural balance that existed before their introduction.
3rd Orientation: Assess the impact of climate change on ecosystems
Climate change, by disrupting the natural order, could have profound consequences on biodiversity, both in terms of species and their habitats.