MISE À DAY
In order to fight against climate change, an organization will set up a project to further green agricultural land, thanks to a $4.5 million grant from the Government of Quebec.  ;
Over the next three years, the Jour de la Terre organization will plant trees, plants and herbaceous plants on certain targeted sites, in order to collect data to measure possible climate gains.
The sites in question are distributed across Quebec, in order to measure their effects in different situations.
“It will be on non-cultivable agricultural land. We do not want to compete between trees and food. There are places, along watercourses and where there are steep slopes, where you cannot go and cultivate anything, “said the founder of the Cowboys Fringants, Jérôme Dupras, who acts as spokesperson for the Demain la forêt project, of Earth Day Canada.
The latter believes that agricultural land has great potential in the fight against and adaptation to climate change.
“A degraded place, yes, you can plant trees and it's good for carbon, but in addition, you may have just avoided a landslide, you improve the quality of the water and in some cases , we find endangered species there and we recreate habitats”, he gave as an example.
The Union des producteurs agricole and the Canada Research Chair in Ecological Economics at the Université du Québec en Outaouais will also take part in the project, which aims, on the one hand, to make farmers aware of these issues, and to accumulate data on the benefits that this greening can bring.
“The project aims to acquire knowledge, to know which tree species are good, how to properly stabilize the soil , the role in biodiversity. There will be a lot of research for that”, illustrated Mr. Dupras.
According to his team's estimates, up to one million additional trees could be planted in the agricultural sector, without harming the activities of farmers.
“We have very advanced modeling approaches. We look with geographic information data, satellite data. And we have several criteria that help us target the land,” he explained.
He specified that these same data also make it possible to target places where the benefits would be the highest. .
On the side of the Government of Quebec, it is recalled that agricultural land is already facing several challenges, including droughts and soil erosion.
“ This pilot project will allow us to study more carefully the possible contribution of various nature-based solutions to the achievement of climate change mitigation and adaptation objectives and to determine which practices should be prioritized. », declared Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change.