Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Thursday the creation of a new marine protected area in the Canadian Arctic, where global warming is three times faster than the global average.
During a visit to Iqaluit, in the territory of Nunavut, to three months of legislative elections when he will seek re-election, Mr. Trudeau stressed that this project would allow his government to exceed its objective of protecting 10% of marine areas. and coastal areas by 2020.
The project aims to protect an area off Baffin Island, in extreme northeastern Canada, where ice melt and marine traffic threaten many species.
"Beluga, narwhal, walrus, seal, polar bear and thousands of other species whose survival depends on the presence of polar ice throughout the year must now migrate, see their numbers reduce or, in some cases, disappear, "said Mr. Trudeau in a speech.
"For Inuit, who rely on hunting and harvesting to feed their families, climate change is putting their livelihood and lifestyle at risk," said the Premier, who has made reconciliation with the local people. aboriginal people and environmental advocacy two of his government's priorities.
The Liberal leader took the opportunity to recall that his government had recently invested in the modernization of the coast guard fleet, including the command of two Arctic patrol vessels.
The goal, he said, is "to increase our ability to defend Canadian national interests" in this region, coveted by several world powers for its resources and navigation in the Far North, facilitated by the melting of ice.
"Our government is committed to upholding Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic, in partnership with the people who have lived there for millennia," he said.