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Wildlife and biodiversity

Land & wildlife

Focus area 2030 Targets
Land & wildlife
  • Reclaim 1,500 decommissioned well sites
  • Complete $40 million of caribou habitat restoration work

Our activities on the landscape are temporary and we develop restoration plans even before we begin work on a project. When we design our facilities and operating procedures, we take biodiversity considerations into account so that we can restore the natural diversity of plants and animals at the end of a facility’s life. Ultimately, all the land we use will be reclaimed, including access roads, well pads and seismic lines. Once the entire project is complete and the equipment and infrastructure are removed, we plant trees and other vegetation and then let nature take its course.

To build on our leading land restoration and wildlife protection activities, Cenovus has set two long-term targets. The first is a commitment to complete reclamation of 1,500 decommissioned well sites over the next 10 years, representing a proactive approach to managing our existing reclamation obligations. As part of this commitment, we’ve joined the Alberta Energy Regulator’s Area-Based Closure program that sets an annual spending target for each company and allows us to work with industry peers to reduce costs and increase efficiency.

The second component of the land and wildlife commitment is to voluntarily spend $40 million between 2016 and 2030 to restore more land within caribou ranges than is disturbed by Cenovus’s activity. This 2030 target is an extension of the 2016 announcement of a $32 million, 10-year caribou habitat restoration program, the largest project of its kind in the world. The program involves restoring up to 4,000 kilometres of linear land disturbances and planting up to five million trees. Protection of caribou, listed as a threatened species by the federal government, is a priority for Cenovus as caribou ranges are spread across the oil sands region of Alberta.

Quick facts

  • As part of our Caribou Habitat Restoration Project, we’ve:
    • treated over 800 km of linear forest disturbances (seismic lines, access roads, etc.)
    • planted over one million trees towards our goal of five million planted by 2030
  • Received over 1,600 reclamation certificates since 2009, to return land back to how it looked before our development projects began

Find out more about our land & wildlife initiatives in our 2018 Environmental, Social & Governance report.