Area: Opportunity study
Region: Capitale-Nationale
Year: 2011-2012
Client: Charlevoix-Est RCM

Opportunity Study for the Proposed Charlevoix World Biosphere Reserve

A critical analysis revealed the strengths and weaknesses of the Charlevoix-Est RCM, and also identified some tangible opportunities that would help strengthen its economic, social and environmental fabric. Workshops were held to fuel the thinking process, and 11 project opportunities were identified. Implementation plans were prepared for three of these opportunities:

  • Implementation of a forest biomass development project.
  • Creation of a white birch splitting and peeling mill to produce specialty products
  • Development of outdoor tourist activities that would encourage development of the hinterland and natural environment of Charlevoix-Est, and would create a network of existing protected areas in the region (Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie Park, Grands-Jardins Park, Fjord-du-Saguenay Park, Saguenay‑Saint-Laurent Marine Park and Laurentians Wildlife Preserve).

The three chosen opportunities seemed to offer the most promise, and were relevant to both the Charlevoix World Biosphere Reserve and the region’s desire to develop the hinterland area through sustainable projects with spin-offs for the communities. They were realistic and suited to the context. In some cases very little funding was required, while in other cases the funding needs exceeded the region’s ability to pay, meaning that contributions had to be sought from outside partners and promoters. Success was dependent on the region’s ability to provide sufficient promotion. Subsequent feasibility studies were also required to obtain a more accurate measurement of their value.