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Québec Government announces $600,000 research funding for Laval’s Faculty of Forestry, Geography and Geomatics

The safety and quality of life in Nunavik’s northern villages are important to the Government of Québec. Therefore, the Minister of the Environment, the Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Laurentides Region, Benoit Charette, is announcing additional financial assistance of up to $600,000 over two years for Université Laval’s Faculty of Forestry, Geography and Geomatics. This will enable the university to continue to support the Partnership Research Chair on Permafrost in Nunavik and the work it conducts.

Permafrost thawing caused by global warming is already affecting the safety and resilience of Nunavik communities due to damage to buildings and infrastructure. The quality of life of people is also being affected because of restricted access to the territory for traditional hunting, fishing and gathering activities. Researchers are therefore working in collaboration with Nunavik communities so that local and scientific knowledge will enable them to adapt to the impacts of global warming on permafrost. The Research Chair also hopes to increase the resilience of northern communities to environmental change.

This new support from the Québec government is a follow-up to $900,000 in funding granted in 2021 for the creation of the Research Chair and its operation for the first three years. The funding will be used to:

  • Maintain and develop knowledge on permafrost and its thaw sensitivity in the context of climate change;
  • Support and accelerate the adaptation of Québec’s permafrost regions to climate change, in collaboration with communities;
  • Ensure the sustainability of the Research Chair

“Nunavik communities are seeing rapid changes in their environment due to climate change. Continuing the Research Chair’s activities will help ensure the long-term retention and development of knowledge, expertise and research capacity on permafrost at Université Laval. This is essential in order to accelerate the implementation of climate change adaptation solutions in that region.”

Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment, the Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Laurentides Region

“The impacts of climate change in Nunavik are among those that are increasing the most rapidly in the world. It is essential to ensure that they can be curbed quickly. With today’s announcement, we believe the work will only accelerate. Thanks to the ancestral knowledge of Inuit and the researchers at Université Laval, I am hopeful that concrete solutions will be found so that we can preserve this vast territory.

Ian Lafrenière, Minister Responsible for Relations with the First Nations and Inuit

“The work has had tangible, positive impacts on infrastructure resilience and sustainable village planning. I welcome this new government support, which will allow the Research Chair to continue the excellent work it has done so far in partnership with local communities and regional organizations.”

Denis Lamothe, MNA for Ungava

“The funding announced today attests to both Université Laval’s expertise in permafrost research and the relationship of trust established over many years between our scientists and the people of Nunavik. Université Laval is pleased to be able to continue this collaboration on an issue of crucial importance for the sustainable development of northern communities.”

Sophie D’Amours, Rector of Université Laval

Quick facts:
  • The financial assistance stems from Action of the 2030 Plan for a Green Economy Implementation Plan, which aims to continue the development of knowledge on permafrost thawing.
  • The Research Chair’s activities are also part of Université Laval’s Sentinel North program.
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