Supporting conservation and environmental education with the Nature Conservancy of Canada
April 2023 – At Cenovus, we support innovative solutions to environmental issues — from lowering emissions to protecting our natural habitat — to ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.
For 10 years, we have partnered with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), a non-profit organization that tackles projects to make a difference in biodiversity and ecosystem health. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped protect more than 15 million hectares of ecologically significant land across the country.
In 2022, we announced a US$3 million (~CAD$3.7 million) donation to further natural habitat conservation work. Due to the structure of the donation, a match program was triggered in Canada and the U.S., including a grant under the U.S. North American Wetlands Conservation Act, increasing the amount available to NCC to US$12 million.
This donation established the Cenovus Energy Critical Wetland & Grassland Conservation Fund, which will help conserve natural areas across Western Canada, such as grasslands, wetlands, lakes and forests that are critical to a variety of plants and animals, including many at-risk species and migratory birds.
The Yarrow and a property in the Waterton Park Front are two conservation projects being supported by our fund, which significantly protect biodiversity in Alberta, Canada and help ecosystems stay connected for wildlife.
“Wetlands are so much more than just wet land; they not only teem with wildlife, including species-at-risk, but also perform key functions, such as mitigating floods, cycling nutrients and storing carbon,” says Tom Lynch-Staunton, Regional Vice-President, Nature Conservancy of Canada. “This generous and forward-thinking donation is having an immense impact on the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s efforts to conserve wetland ecosystems, including those within prairie grasslands.”
Our partnership with NCC is also focused on conservation efforts in Newfoundland and Labrador through the Futures in Conservation Program, one of 20 priority stewardship projects the NCC spearheads each year.
“The Futures in Conservation Program provides post-secondary students with STEM-based internships focused on protecting high priority natural areas,” says Aimee Sheppard, Senior Industrial Benefits & Diversity Advisor with Cenovus. “It gives interns work experience in their desired field while contributing to science and promoting conservation in communities.”
Interns with the program are responsible for monitoring and surveying nature reserves through mapping and reporting tasks, helping organize biological inventories that build knowledge of local biodiversity on the lands they are working to conserve. Through this program and with the support of sponsors like Cenovus, NCC has employed and mentored more than 500 interns across the country.
“Being a leading sustainability performer means having a comprehensive social investment strategy that includes a strong commitment to protecting our natural habitats and addressing the impact of climate change,” says Rhona DelFrari, Cenovus Chief Sustainability Officer & Executive Vice-President, Stakeholder Engagement. “We have a long-standing relationship with NCC, supporting the vitally important work the organization is doing to help conserve Canada’s natural areas that sustain our plants and wildlife.”
Have you ever heard of a food forest? They can be planted anywhere and help enhance long-term food security. Learn how students are planting food forests at school through the Notice Nature program.