National parks network
A national parks network to protect land and make it accessible
The Québec national parks network contains 27 territories. Added to this number of the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park, which is managed jointly with the Government of Canada.
Consult the map of the national parks (PDF 3.56 Mb) (in French) network to locate them.
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Protection of land
The national parks contribute to honouring international commitments on protected areas. Their mission is to protect territories representative of the natural regions of Québec, or exceptional natural sites, to make them accessible to the general public. By protecting them, the government ensures that present and future generations can visit them and participate in educational or recreational activities.
Québec national parks are territories that evolve without interventions other than those necessary for their conservation and development.
In December 2022, on the sidelines of the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15) held in Montréal, the government undertook to protect 30% of its territory by 2030. To date, the Québec national parks network and the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park cover a little over 44,000 km2, or nearly 3% of Québec’s area.
Network planning and management
To reiterate the great value of these natural places for society, the Gouvernement du Québec adopted the Policy for Québec National Parks (PDF 10.22 Mb) in 2018. In continuity with the national parks mission, planning and management of the network are based on three directions:
- Continue the development of the Québec national park network;
- Ensure conservation of the natural, cultural and landscape heritage;
- Contribute to the quality of life of citizens and communities.
Governance of the national parks
The Policy for Québec National Parks clarifies their governance. The roles and responsibilities are shared between the government and the operators.
The government sees to network planning, national park creation and modification, and governance of their operation. It also participates in measures in view of land conservation and monitoring.
The current operators of the national parks are:
- Société des établissements de plein air du Québec (Sépaq), for the 23 territories south of the territories covered by the Northern agreements; and
- The Kativik Regional Government (KRG), for the four territories located in Nunavik, north of the 55th parallel.
Their role is to manage and develop the offering of services and activities in the national parks, and ensure their conservation. They are also responsible for asset maintenance and monitoring of the territories.
In some national parks, portions of territories are leased for operation of major infrastructures (e.g. alpine skiing, golf, etc.). Based on the contract binding them to the government, the lessees must adopt practices respectful of the environment and in accordance with the directions of the Policy for Québec National Parks.
The Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park is operated jointly by Sépaq and Parks Canada.
Master plan: follow-up tools
Different tools were designed by the government and the operators to ensure the coherence of the actions to be implemented with the operators. These tools include the master plans. These documents serve to:
- Draw the picture of a territory;
- Describe the zoning in force;
- Establish the special directions for management of a national park; and
- Report on the implementation of conservation objectives.
All the land use planning projects must agree with the master plan.
Government achievements in conservation
Every year, the government funds rehabilitation work on degraded natural environments in the national parks. Since 2016, work has been carried out in most of Québec’s national parks.
In particular, this work includes:
- Restore shores, wetland and caribou habitat;
- Fight invasive alien species;
- Improve the watercourse crossings in fish habitat;
- Renaturalize previously occupied sites.
The government also funds rehabilitation studies and work on contaminated sites located in certain national parks or on lands under its authority.
Last update: January 8, 2024