Changing the paradigm of land development and resource planning on indigenous land
Land development has both impacts and benefits. Balance depends on their distribution among the local communities involved. The idea behind La Grande Alliance is to tip the scale when it comes to benefits towards communities most affected by the impacts of development. Improved connectivity and transportation, training and jobs, as well as impact planning and mitigation are all ways to balance impacts with environmental, social and financial benefits.
Development and Eeyou Istchee
La Grande Alliance aims at changing and re-organizing how development happens in Eeyou Istchee. The value created through the development of an inclusive and comprehensive infrastructure program will generate stability and allow communities to better access opportunities associated with all aspects of development. The challenges associated with climate change and other global issues make community participation even more critical.
Balancing Development and Environmental Protection
Development and environmental protection are two concepts that are often seen as opposing. Through La Grande Alliance, the governments involved want to challenge and change this view: Development and protection can – and should – co-exist from the start to ensure long term sustainability of projects and limit adverse impacts as much as possible. The process of determining which protected areas are necessary to preserve habitat, water bodies or to maintain a cultural landmark is conducted by land users and local communities, as they are the ones who know the land. Once managed, communities can then direct developers towards areas that have been identified as available for development, as long as it meets the social and environmental criteria as defined in the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement.