September 10, 2018 (Matagami, Quebec) – Today the Cree First Nation of Waswanipi, joined by surrounding Cree communities and Greenpeace Canada, are holding a demonstration at kilometer 105 of the James Bay highway to oppose logging in the Broadback Forest.
“The Waswanipi Cree have the right to protect their last intact forest. The forest is also our best line of defense against climate change. The last thing that anybody should be doing is logging this special place. Securing a final deal to finally protect the Broadback must be an immediate priority of the next Quebec government,” said Olivier Kolmel, forest campaigner at Greenpeace Canada, on location close to Matagami.
The area has irreplaceable cultural significance for the Waswanipi Cree, who have hunted and trapped in the area for countless generations. The forest stores vast amounts of carbon, is home to threatened species like the woodland caribou and is an important source of freshwater.
The community has been trying to protect the Broadback since 2011. Despite promising to negotiate an agreement, this year the Quebec government released a five-year forestry plan opening the area to logging. According to community members, works recently began on a forestry road leading to Waswanipi’s proposed protected area, triggering Monday’s demonstrations.
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For information, to speak with spokespeople live on site or to receive photo/video of the demonstration, please contact:
Reykia Fick, Forest Campaigner, Greenpeace Canada, 819 918-0470 or firstname.lastname@example.org