Montreal, May 24, 2023 - Équiterre is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year: three decades of hard work and victories that have cemented its place as one of the most influential environmental groups in Quebec and Canada.
"After 30 years of hard-fought battles and difficult conversations, we know that things still aren't moving fast enough to counter the climate and biodiversity crises. That being said, we must be proud of the environmental movement’s many victories, both large and small, and the important role that Équiterre has played to get us where we are today."
-Colleen Thorpe, Équiterre’s Executive Director
A dedicated page on Équiterre's website documents the progress and accomplishments since Équiterre was founded in 1993 by a group of young Quebecers (including Laure Waridel, Sidney Ribaux and Steven Guilbeault) upon their return from the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
Hearts and minds
Équiterre’s numerous projects and campaigns over its 30 years have marked the environmental movement in Quebec: its central role in the fight against the Energy East and GNL Québec fossil fuel projects, the success of its Family Farmers Network, its work on fair trade and its recent campaign to raise awareness about the many impacts of light-duty trucks (SUVs).
"I've been with Équiterre for 15 years and in that time I've seen the organization evolve as a very professional and rigourous organization with recognized expertise. Through all the changes and growth, however, Équiterre has never lost its soul, its activist spirit or its connection to the people on the ground. This is what makes us strong. Because we don't just put our mind to the task. Our hearts are deeply invested as well," explains Colleen Thorpe.
What comes next
In its three decades, Équiterre has been recognized for its ability to dialogue with a variety of different societal actors; a strength which will continue to help propel the organization forward. But the climate emergency and the successive crises that are impacting our communities have pushed Équiterre to adopt firmer and more incisive strategies, necessitating increasing audacity to confront the many battles head on.
"The time for small action is over. The situation is urgent and we’re advocating for major systemic changes. There is a lot of work to be done to ensure that our planet’s limits and social justice are respected by our agri-food systems, our transportation systems and our economy,” concludes Colleen Thorpe.
Équiterre's priority orientations
- Foster a healthier relationship with material consumption, focused on equity, sobriety, circularity and well-being.
- Encourage a perspective of sobriety with regards to energy production and consumption.
- Accelerate the transition to modes of transportation with low socio-environmental. impacts: active, collective, shared and/or electric.
- Accelerate crop diversification and soil regeneration for planetary health and to protect our agricultural heritage.
- Encourage organizations and institutions in their transition to best practices in sustainable food (healthy, local, organic and environmentally responsible).
- Encourage land use practices and living environments that allow for transportation options with low socio-environmental impacts.
A 30th anniversary campaign
Équiterre has always been able to count on donations from individuals, foundations, governments and businesses to move its environmental work forward. In order to plan its projects for the next decade, Équiterre is launching a three-year fundraising campaign for its 30th anniversary.
Équiterre's offices are located on Indigenous lands that have not been ceded by treaty, which we now call Montreal and Quebec City. We recognize that Indigenous peoples have protected their territories since immemorial times and have used their traditional knowledge to guard the lands and waters. We are grateful to live on these lands and are committed to continuing our efforts to protect them. Read more »