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Press Release

St. Lawrence Vision 2000 Five-year Report 1998-2003:
Tangible environmental achievements attained thanks to a partnership and consultation-based approach

Québec, August 26, 2003 – The two co chairs of the St. Lawrence Action Plan Vision 2000, Mimi Breton, representing the Government of Canada, and Pierre Baril, representing the Government of Quebec, are pleased to announce the publication of the Five Year Report 1998 2003 on the third Canada Quebec consultation agreement on the St. Lawrence, which contains a balance sheet of the achievements made by this project.

The report describes the activities completed in each of the areas of action in Phase III: community involvement, agriculture, biodiversity, industrial and urban issues, shipping and human health. Remarkable results have been achieved for the St. Lawrence ecosystem thanks to the consultation among and commitment of thirteen government departments and agencies that are partners in SLV 2000.

" The results obtained in Phase III of the St. Lawrence Action Plan, the goal of which was to increase the involvement of communities along the St. Lawrence River, protect human health and the health of the St. Lawrence ecosystem and confirm the relevance and effectiveness of a partnership- and consultation based approach ", the two co chairs stated.

A number of initiatives are worthy of mention. We should note, among other things, the establishment of a joint program to monitor the state of the St. Lawrence, development of a sustainable shipping strategy on the St. Lawrence, completion of almost a hundred technology transfer and development projects that help cut the use of pesticides and protect some one hundred and eight thousand new hectares of natural habitat.

Moreover, in the area of Community involvement, more than a hundred citizens groups have implemented 135 local projects with the financial help of the Community interactions program. What is more, the fourteen Zones d’intervention prioritaire (ZIP) [priority action area] committees located all along the St. Lawrence have implemented a large number of resource and habitat conservation, restoration and use projects described in their ecological restoration action plan (ERAP) in their various communities.

Other results are also featured, including the acquisition of knowledge relating to the consequences of changes in water levels, the risk to the public of consuming aquatic products or engaging in recreation activities in the waters of the St. Lawrence. Mention should also be made of the results of actions designed to reduce pollution at source, especially in small and medium-sized businesses and from projects designed to increase river access in a dozen or so municipalities in Quebec.

The report also features the amounts spent by the governments of Canada and Quebec during the period from June 1998 to March 2003, a socioeconomic cost benefit assessment and highlights of the last fifteen years.

" While continuing with the substantial work that has already been done, the partners in the St. Lawrence Action Plan will face major challenges in the future in their efforts to preserve the ecological integrity of the St. Lawrence because of the many factors involved, including the pollution caused by urban growth, adjustments to climate change, changes in water levels and the increasing variety of uses ", the co-chairs noted.

This report is available on the St. Lawrence Vision 2000 Website at the following address: www.slv2000.qc.ca. Copies of the document can also be obtained from the Bureau de coordination SLV 2000 at 1141, route de l’Église, Sainte-Foy by calling the following number: (418) 648-3444.

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Sources :

Raymonde Goupil
Quebec Department of the Environment
St. Lawrence Vision 2000
(418) 521-3823, Extension 4912
Suzanne Bourget
Environment Canada
St. Lawrence Vision 2000
(418) 649-6510

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